For those iPhone owners who aren't the biggest fans of Apple's home grown Maps application, take heart. The company has explicitly stated during its earnings call today that work continues on improving Maps. Apple made the decision to replace Google Maps with the launch of iOS 6.
The announcement came directly from CFO Peter Oppenheimer, who stated that Apple has "made a number of improvements to Maps over the past month and will work nonstop until Maps lives up to our incredibly high standards." No doubt Apple has Google in their sights and does not want to be considered the inferior solution.
The early reviews are in, and Apple has some work to do on its new iOS 6 Maps application. Highly-touted features such as turn-by-turn directions are no doubt an upgrade, however there are other things that will be missed by fans of Google Maps. As pretty as those 3D Flyover graphics may look, basic functionality is said to have suffered, especially overseas.
Apple replaced the Google-based back end of the Maps application with its own alongside the launch of iOS 6. One big complaint from users in urban areas is the lack of transit directions. Instead of detailing options to take public transit, the new Maps simply offers a list of third-party transit apps installed on your device.
Lonely Planet Travel Guides are no strangers to the iOS App Store. Now travelers have even more options, with the launch of six country guides to complement the already-popular city guides. Visitors to Australia, Italy, France, Spain, Costa Rica and Ireland can now grab a comprehensive guide for $9.99.
If you're already carrying an iPhone or iPod touch, this option makes it unnecessary to carry guide books and adds features that take advantage of your smartphone. GPS tracking linked with offline maps are provided for the entire country right down to individual neighborhoods.
More evidence has surfaced that Apple is working on navigation software for the next-generation iPhone. The company recently acquired online mapping company Poly9. This is not the first tech company specializing in mapping to be picked up by Apple.
Placebase, a mapping services company was also bought by Apple in 2009. Speculation is rampant that Apple may integrate both companies' technology in a new mapping and/or navigation app for the iPhone 5. Google maps are currently featured in iOS products, but the relationship between Google and Apple has been rocky lately. Google has also launched its own competing free GPS navigation app for Android platforms.