For all of the amazing functionality and native features iOS offers its users, Google have always held one small element of Apple’s mobile operating system at their mercy, Maps. Although Apple have designed the user interface to be distinctly iOS, since the birth of the iPhone, the native Maps application has relied on a Google backend to provide location services, route information and all of the geographical wizardry that comes with it. Come Apple’s WWDC later this year however and all that will change.
With the launch of iOS 6, Apple may well leave behind their reliance on Google services and bring the mapping capabilities of iOS in-house. As a source informed 9to5mac.com, the new mapping services (assumed to keep the “Maps” name), will offer a visually similar experience to the current application, although there are some pretty exciting enhancements which will differentiate this new application from the previous.
For starters the logo will undergo a light redesign, still detailing Apple’s HQ at 1 Infinite Loop, but with a new look and altered colour scheme (don’t worry, that’s not one of the exciting enhancements). Apple have been able to bring development of Maps in-house thanks to the procurement of companies Placebase, Poly9 and C3 Technologies. It’s the last of these three which serves up the most interesting feature in the new Maps app, 3D Mode.
The Swedish company specialise in creating detailed, accurate, topologically correct 3D models based on a satellite imagery and mapping algorithms. As you can see, the result provides visually stunning landmarks, fully rendered as a 3D model. Users will be able to access this new mode by an easy to access toggle, somewhere within the new app’s settings, we think it looks great and can’t wait to fly around London in full 3D.