It's been one the big questions hanging over WWDC -- will Apple actually toss Google to the side and launch it's own mapping service specifically for iOS? Well, it's not a question any more, but a cold hard fact. Apple's mapping solution is here, taking over where Google left off. The move is hardly shocking since Apple has already confirmed that it's been working on a traffic database and snatched up a number of mapping companies. Besides, it's not like Cupertino and Mountain View are the best of buds right now. Maps includes all of the features you've come to expect from the previous iOS solution, but with a number of enhancements. This all new mapping solution includes 100 million different business listings, Yelp integration and, biggest of all, turn-by-turn navigation. The app does use anonymously collected data to populate traffic information and any rerouting is brought to your attention with a pop-up notification.
The story isn't done yet, though. The maps are even rendered in full 3D, not unlike what Google announced last week. (And the news was delivered in a way that made it clear Apple think's they've one upped their former map app provider.) The whole demo -- flipping through business listings, flying around in 3D and navigating labyrinth-like city streets -- was performed on one of those shiny new iPads... you know, the ones that are getting Siri support soon. Which, if you haven't figured out yet, plays quite nicely with the new Maps app as we saw in the demo. Ask Siri to find a gas station on your route or how much longer you'll be on the road and the pleasantly robotic voice gets you the relevant info.
Update: Several of our readers scoured the fine print on Apple's freshly launched iOS 6 Maps page, and informed us that the Flyover and turn-by-turn features will only be available to folks with an iPhone 4S or iPad 2 or later. Guess that's just one more reason to upgrade, eh?
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