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Apple unveils map app

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No more Google Maps for Apple users

Apple has revealed it will soon be ditching Google Maps in favour of its own navigation tool as part of the iOS6 update.

Available as a free download this autumn, the new map app was created in partnership with Dutch company TomTom and is one of the key features of iOS6, and will replace the Google feature that has been a mainstay of new Apple products since the first iPhone.

Crucially, the move should also allow Apple to target its advertisements based on user location. BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones said: “The mobile advertising industry is heavily focussed on location based services, so owning the dominant mapping system could prove very lucrative.”

What will the new map offer users?

Naturally, Apple Maps will introduce a number of new features. TomTom’s influence is evident in Turn-by-Turn Navigation, which works much the same as a regular SatNav. Users can accompany this with “eyes free” assistance from Siri, Apple’s voice-activated helper, which will do everything from choosing the best route to finding the nearest convenient rest stop. Live traffic updates will also allow people to reassess their routes if needed.

Apple’s 3D Flyover function, created using photographs taken from aeroplanes, appears designed to challenge Google Street View as the best way to get a 3D feel for the place you are visiting, while sticking pins in locations will also reveal more about them.

Of course, Google will not just stand by and let this happen, and has announced a similar overhead 3D viewing system for its Android devices. Add to that the fact that a number of the new features are only available on the very latest products, for example Flyover and Turn-by-Turn Navigation will only be available to iPhone 4S owners and not those with the iPhone 4 or 3GS, and it seems Google have not dropped off the map just yet.

Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword said: “This could be a big blow for Google, with hundreds of thousands of users potentially switching to the new Apple feature. But, with the rewards in location-based advertising so great, it will be interesting to see how they fight back.”

Written by james_riches_swapJames Riches

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