iOS 6 Maps app to sport an in-house car navigation mode, says WSJ
Due to the rumors and screenshots flying in the past week or two we know that Apple is ripe to unveil its own Maps application with iOS 6 that ditches the services of Google, and uses its own geocoding solution and mapping backend.
While the geocoding has been in the iOS Maps application since last Novmeber, replacing Google's positioning, now we learn that everything else will become Apple's piece of code too. Wall Street Journal reports today in a lengthy piece that its own sources, among which are current and former Google and Apple employees, confirm the Maps app swap.
Google, they say, started to get slightly worried when Apple bought Poly9 and other mapping and 3D companies, indicating that it is developing an in-house solution. The sources also divulged that Apple has been licensing POI, traffic conditions and local business info for a while now to include in its new application, so it will butt heads directly with Google Maps.
The big question was also if Apple will offer navigation along with the mapping software, and for the first time WSJ confirms that insiders tipped a navigational app that turns iOS gear into an "in-car GPS device". Thus we can deduce that Cupertino might indeed offer a voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation solution of its own, but whether it will be free and offline like Nokia Maps, remains to be seen.
The maps and navigation project has been shrouded in secrecy, WSJ says, to the extent that one engineer who was working on part of it, didn't know what another one on the same project was doing.
source: WSJ (subscription)