Apple gets into local search!
For once the rumours are true and Apple have announced that they will be introducing its own mapping product as part of the iOS 6 update (scrapping Google Maps) which will be available to the public this summer.
Here is the short version of what Apple said their mapping product will give you:
· The maps will have local search
· The map will include crowd-sourced real-time traffic reports
· Navigation and turn-by-turn directions (similar to a regular sat-nav)
· 3D mapping with “flyover” animation (similar to Google Earth)
· Siri integration – both on the search and as the voice for turn-by turn
Basic maps will be similar to the current Google Maps although it won’t be identical. However the 3D mapping looks almost identical to what Google demo’d last week.
Here’s what Apple just put out in a press release on Maps:
iOS 6 includes an all new Maps app with vector-based map elements that make graphics and text smooth, and panning, tilting and zooming incredibly fluid. New turn-by-turn navigation guides you to your destination with spoken directions, and the amazing Flyover feature has photo-realistic interactive 3D views. Real-time traffic information keeps you updated on how long it will take to get to your destination and offers alternate time-saving routes if traffic conditions change significantly. Additionally, local search includes information for over 100 million businesses with info cards that offer Yelp ratings, reviews, available deals and photos.
Apple has said that the local business ratings and reviews will be produced by Yelp. There will be “deals” and “photos” as well which is also more likely to be coming from a third party.
Apple Maps will be extended to the iPad and iPod Touch as well.
We are sure that Apple with its Maps and expanded Siri capabilities are now in the already popular local search business.
By Troy Stanley