iOS News, — May 11, 2012 23:11 — 0 Comments
Longstanding relationship slowly being picked apart as first iPhoto and then entire maps app prepare to break from search engine’s supply
Apple is believed to be about to ditch Google as the provider of its mapping in the next major revision of iOS, the operating system that drives the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Instead it will introduce its own mapping solution including a 3D view and Street View-like product adapted from a number of companies including Placebase, C3 Technologies and Poly9 which it has acquired in the past few years.
If correct, the shift would mark a continuation of the company’s shift away from Google-provided map data which was first noticed in MArch when it introduced its iPhoto app for iOS, which uses the crowdsourced OpenStreetMap product rather than Google to show locations.
9to5Mac is reporting that iOS 6, expected to be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference from June 11–15, will introduce in-house mapping, citing “trusted sources”.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
The new maps would be built around Apple’s own cloud computing system, which has been gradually rolled out with iCloud users, which it says now has more than 125 million users worldwide.
A key difference would be 3D representations using C3′s maps, which use declassified missile target algorithms.
Though Apple’s maps app in iOS uses Google’s data, it has lagged behind that on Google’s own Android OS since the introduction in December 2010 of Android 2.3, or ”Gingerbread”, which brought the ability to rotate the map onscreen — allowing the user to manipulate the map to align a street with their direction of view without moving the phone itself.
At the same time Google also introduced a 3D view and offline mode for maps. By contrast Apple’s Maps app requires a data connection to function.
Google, it’s known, pays Apple handsomely for its position as the search engine of choice on iOS devices (the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) which make up a substantial part of mobile search queries. Equally, Google also has a prominent position as the provider of interactive maps (through the Maps app) on iOS, which has been there since the iPhone was introduced in January 2007.
But Apple is also believed to want to break its ties with Google in mapping, though not search, where it gets a substantial split of any revenues Google receives from ad clickthroughs. However, in June 2010 it added Microsoft’s Bing as an option for search in iOS — on which it is likely it also gets a share of revenues.
Google and Apple renewed their mapping agreement in May 2011, which surprised some because Apple’s job postings had included a number of vacancies for people with expertise in mapping.
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