Apple may finally ditch Google Maps in favor of its own mapping software for the next version of iOS, according to an unconfirmed report.
Citing “trusted sources,” 9to5Mac reports that a new Maps app will be a major feature of iOS 6. The app will reportedly include a 3D mode from C3 Technologies, which Apple acquired last year. Apple's Maps app will also provide a “cleaner, faster, and more reliable experience,” says 9to5Mac.
C3's technology uses declassified missile targeting methods to create detailed 3D maps that the company once described as “Google Earth on steroids.” A video of C3's technology shows how it can create realistic flyovers and even rotate its angle of view. C3 also captures street-level imagery with a multiple camera system, so Apple may have a competitor to Google's Street View as well.
Apple's desire to oust Google Maps from the iPhone is no secret. Apple has acquired several mapping companies over the years, including C3, Placebase and Poly9, and the iOS version of iPhoto uses Open Street Maps instead of Google Maps outside the United States.
Apple also collects anonymous location data from iOS devices “with the goal of providing an improved traffic service within the next couple of years” as the company explained during last year's location-tracking fiasco.
All of these efforts by Apple may soon come to fruition for iPhone users. Unfortunately, the report says nothing about turn-by-turn voice navigation, a major feature of Android phones that the iPhone still lacks. Any new Maps app from Apple will be a letdown if it doesn't include this capability.