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apple maps

Tom Tom still defensive their view that smartphones won’t damage sales

Tom Tom on iPhone

 

When Apple released there own map app and the criticisms started to pour in the blame fell on to TomTom who provided Apple with the majority of their mapping data. Cees van Dok, head of Tom Tom’s user experience design has continuously defended the company in the controversial debacle, saying that the downfall was completely down to the poor decisions made by Apple themselves and not TomTom. Cees’ argument was “It was primarily because they had so many different sources of data that they were trying to merge all in one application” and clearly it didn’t work out as they had hoped.

Even though the Apple incident many have put some people off of primarily using the maps app on their smartphones, also you can get pretty good fully fledged sat nav apps for an affordable price. Even though TomTom has paid mobile versions of their sat nav software on iOS and Android, they still think that there is still a place for a dedicated navigation device. Cees von Dok had this to say “I think the world we’re going into will be a multi-screen word, I think there will always be an appetite for personal navigation devices.”

A major argument against the mobile versions of navigation apps are that the quality just isn’t there and they aren’t as high of a quality of the standalone unit, Dok goes on to say ” It’s not necessarily navigation, I don’t think these guys are really focused on the driving. I think they’re much more into ‘How can I make a mapping app exploitable? How does it help my search experience, my advertisement model?’ I think that’s much more on the minds of smartphone mapmakers than it is about getting you in a car from A to B.”

TomTom is tackling their mapping competition on the sat nav front by making their in car devices the most user friendly and the most accurate product they make, they are also trying to add more functionality such as live which gives you real time traffic data. These new features could draw a more people to buying an actual device rather than just buying the watered down app that is missing all the functionality that they can get with a fully fledge sat nav device.

TomTom also say that they are trying to unify the experience across their product range. So as long as you have bought their iPhone app you will not be confused when you start to use a TomTom device; whereas the Google maps apps are different across the web and mobile but then again they are free to use an very accurate.

Source – TechRadar

iOS 6 Adoption Increased After the Launch of Google Maps

ios-6-thumb

Apple’s iOS operating system has been a slow progress ever since it was launched with the first generation iPhone back in 2007. Don’t get me wrong, it is right up there among the best mobile operating systems in the market, but some would feel it hasn’t evolved as much as people would have liked. Sure, it still manages to score remarkably well in CPU/browser benchmarks, but a first gen iPhone user would find no substantial difference in the current iPhone, from a strictly software point of view. And with iOS 6, people had one more reason to not opt for the update and that was the absence of Google Maps. Well, Google Maps used to come by default on previous iterations of iOS, but didn’t make its way with iOS 6 as Apple went with its own half cooked Apple Maps. This was considered a bad move even before its flaws were discovered, and this led to many users of iOS 5 not updating to iOS 6 so as to still use Google Maps. But now, with the official Google Maps app available as a third party download on the iTunes AppStore, it is being said that users have begun updating to the new version of iOS in large numbers.

According to Ad Network, MoPub, iOS 6 adoption increased 29% within 5 days of the launch of the Google Maps app on iOS. This tells us a lot about what Maps means to the users and how much of an impact Google Maps makes for iOS in general. The data was collected after analyzing 12,000 iOS applications from a study. This doesn’t surprise us one bit. We all know how badly Apple Maps backfired for Apple and it only makes sense that iOS users are finally showing faith in the platform. In the meantime, it’s still to be seen if Apple has something coming up to enhance the usability of Apple Maps. Google Maps’ popularity was instantly evident as the app saw 10 million downloads within 2 days of its launch. And the statistics given by MoPub reaffirms that. We heard of Apple’s plans to integrate FourSquare with Apple Maps, which could partially improve the usability of Apple’s offering.

The CEO of MoPub, Jim Payne said – “We observed since the launch of Google Maps for iOS 6 a 30 percent increase in unique iOS 6 users, and we think it’s related to Google Maps. It verifies the hypothesis that people were actually holding back to upgrade until Google Maps was available”.

Source: Tech Crunch
Via: Phone Arena

Apple Could Be Looking to Integrate FourSquare With Apple Maps

foursquare-logo

The Apple iPhone 5 and the iOS 6 operating system have garnered heaps of praises from loyalists and some critics. However, if there is one aspect where iOS 6 falls behind substantially in comparison to its competition, is in the case of Maps. Apple’s brave and bold decision to ditch Google Maps in favor of its own app kind of backfired in an unexpected way and the company had to recommend users to download third party applications which did the job better. This was a major setback for the company.

But it seems like the folks at Cupertino could be silently cooking up a fix for the ill-fated Apple Maps app. It is being reported that Apple is in talks with FourSquare to share local data. What this means is that FourSquare could see tight integration with Apple Maps in the near future. Apple’s Senior VP of Internet Software and Services last week checked into the Cupertino HQ via FourSquare while the head of FourSquare Dennis Crowley was also in town, which confirms that the two companies have been discussing this. FourSquare has a large number of locations in its database, and Apple Maps could certainly benefit from the integration. Its high time Apple did something about it, as people might soon forget that iOS 6 even had a native Maps app.

This report originates from sources cited by the Wall Street Journal and could well be credible information considering the course of events since the past week or so. Google Maps for iOS saw about 10 million downloads within two days of its launch, which speaks volumes of the users’ desperation and also of the popularity of Google Maps. With FourSquare integration on Apple Maps, things might get a little more bearable. But will it be a whole new experience? We doubt it. There’s still some work to be done when it comes to navigation and providing accurate satellite info. So until that happens we remain skeptical about this apparent partnership. Whatever the outcome, this would certainly improve the existing version of Apple Maps. And FourSquare would be more popular among the users, if people haven’t already downloaded it by now. As Apple already has Yelp integrated into Apple Maps, FourSquare should certainly bring a lot more to the table with local search. Let’s see how things pan out for the company in the coming days.

Source: The Wall Street Journal
Via: Phone Arena

Australian Police Claim Apple Maps Could Be Deadly

iphone-mildura

We all know how Apple Maps fairs against most of its competition, and it’s not news to us that Apple even acknowledged that in an apology letter to its users. However, the problems still haven’t been fixed, it seems. According to a report by the police in Victoria (Australia), Apple Maps is causing life threatening errors with inaccurate directions and navigations. The problem in this case is with the app’s handling of a location named Mildura. What Apple Maps shows to be Mildura, is actually Sunset National Park. Now you might be wondering why all of this would be life threatening, right? Well, Sunset National Park isn’t exactly what you think it is. It is a vast desert, filled with all sorts of venomous beings and with an approximate temperature of 115 degrees Fahrenheit. And you would hardly find any cellular reception in an area like this, which could potentially be life threatening if the traveler has no supplies. Astonishingly, Mildura is located about 43 miles away from the location mentioned on Apple Maps. The police apparently have received six calls for help after being misguided by Apple Maps in the same area, so this issue has already affected a whole bunch of users. Not sure how Apple will react to this, but the Victorian Police Dept has apparently requested Apple to fix this navigation error, but there still doesn’t seem to be a fix to this.

Inspector Simon Clemmence from Victoria Police said in a statement – “Say you got a whole family up there, little kids, at 112 degrees, you didn’t bring any water because you thought you were just going to pull into a town and have a coke and pie, but instead you’re stuck in a desert and your car is stuck, not going anywhere“. He further added – “These are just family cars that are being directed up these roads. They turn into sandy tracks and they get stuck… Some people just trust the technology. Any sat-nav is going to give you errors, but this one in particular is giving us a big one that may end up in a loss of life“.

It seems like Apple has more things to worry about than it thought. This news could potentially harm the iPhone 5’s sale which is concerning news for Apple especially with the holiday season approaching. Apple initially recommended users to rely on third party Map apps for accurate navigation, which was shameful for a company like Apple. And as if that weren’t enough, the company had to fire Scott Forstall who was instrumental in the development of iOS in general and Apple Maps. So unless Apple gets its act together quick, we don’t see this issue being resolved. It won’t be wrong to call this the “Maps-gate” much like Antennagate with the iPhone 4.

When the app cannot accurately show some areas of New York, how good would you expect it to do anywhere else? Apple’s brave decision to ditch Google Maps is already proving to be very costly for the company. And as this unfolds, we can almost sense Google smirking over Apple’s misfortunes. Let’s hope Apple fixes this sooner rather than later.

Source: Victoria Police News
Via: Phone Arena

Maps Manager Fired From Apple, Eddy Cue Shows Him The Door

Some reports are surfacing saying that the executive that was in charge of creating Apple’s rival to Google Maps has been fired from the company due to the half-baked product he and his team launched. Richard Williamson was reportedly shown the way by Apple’s Senior Vice President Eddy Cue. This comes from people who are familiar with the action, but declined to be identified.

Eddy Cue previously oversaw Apple’s cloud services along with iTunes content negotiations. He was just recently put in charge of Apple’s recent software efforts — Siri and Apple Maps. Based off of how bad Apple Maps is, he’s going to be a very busy man as they work on getting the service fixed. Although, I have my own suspicions that they probably won’t release it until the next iPhone generation. As you should know, map technology is quite time consume and takes a lot of effort. Google Maps has been constantly improved for years and years, and still continues to get improved, which is why I think Apple Maps will at least take another year.

Regardless, Cue is reportedly looking for external help with their Mapping software. From the sounds of it, it looks like he is charging TomTom with the improvement tasks of the software. Not only that, but Cue is also reportedly putting together a team to fix the unfinished parts of the software as soon as possible.
Hopefully their efforts prove to be fruitful, Apple Maps does have the potential to be a really good piece of software.
source: Phone Arena

Google Feels Apple is Reluctant to Allow Google Maps for iOS

google-maps-logo

After Apple Maps failed to live up to the hype and expectations, people quickly began speculating of a Google Maps app for iOS. This, while seemingly plausible, might have been slightly far fetched given the course of events leading to the exit of Google Maps from iOS. But now we’re hearing reports from The Guardian that Google is indeed working on a Maps app to submit to the iTunes App Store. However, the report also mentions that Google sees little chance of it being approved by Apple, stating it as “unlikely”. The info stems from the publication’s insider Google sources.

Google’s hesitance has a valid reason. Apple introduced a new section in the iTunes App Store particularly for third party Maps applications post the Apple Maps episode. And in that new category of Maps apps, the ones which make use of the Google Places APIs are missing, indicating that Apple doesn’t want anything to do with Google. Notable third party apps like Quick Route and Maps+ serve this very purpose, but are sadly missing from the AppStore. Is it the hesitance on the part of Apple or mere arrogance? One can’t say for sure. But users hope that the wide media coverage to this news bit could open doors for Google to finally submit the Google Maps app. It is quite a surprise that there isn’t one already, but such is the functioning of Apple. It was a pretty bold step to ditch Google Maps in the first place, given the fact that there was still a year left in the contract between the two companies. It is also believed that the failure of Apple Maps which is a black spot on Apple’s sheet, led to the firing of Scott Forstall, the person instrumental in bringing it to the fore.

With the departure of Forstall, it is believed that things could ease up for Google, or at least it is hoped so. Google’s hesitance and worries are understandable, but at this point of time any comment will seem premature. The Guardian believes that Google is ready to launch the app in time for the holiday season, which could well mean that it’s completed and ready by now. Apple on the other hand will have nothing to worry about, as it will still have enough time to perfect its own Maps app. The idea basically will be to provide enough choice for the users, and I’m pretty sure Apple realizes that. So will Apple go easy on Google, or is this just Google’s way of gaining sympathy from iOS users?

Source: The Guardian
Via: Phone Arena

Opinion: Why the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 is Actually Beneficial for Android

iphone-5

A hot topic amongst tech enthusiasts is about how good or bad the iPhone is. Needless to say, there are plenty of iFans out there who defend Apple products no matter what. It has grown to such an extent that some people just want to have an iPhone, irrespective of its features, price etc. So it would suffice to say that it’s more of a status symbol than an actual medium of communication/entertainment for a few out there. I don’t blame them though, as it is mostly due to the illusion of superiority often surrounding Apple products. Especially in certain Asian and European markets, where iPhones are available for a premium price, owning one is a very big deal. So is this logic justified? Certainly not. People have actually come to terms with the growing Apple fanboyism and thanks to Android OEMs, the competition seems to be increasing with every passing day. And this is what leads to innovation, contrary to Apple’s claims (read: lawsuits).

The recently launched iPhone 5 was marred by a few initial glitches. The smartphone was merely seen as an incremental upgrade by tech experts. And if that wasn’t enough, camera problems started to surface with a purple hue reported for pictures taken with the sun in the backdrop. But the biggest blow of them all was Apple Maps, which with its inaccuracy was subject to a lot of criticism and mockery. This perhaps was the worst setback to Apple, which took a bold move by ditching Google Maps in favor of its own home cooked app (although it makes use of the same API as Google Maps). The bad PR has really hurt Apple’s cause as it urged users to go for third party map applications. While all is not bad about Apple Maps, there is a certain industry standard which the company failed to meet. It seems like there was a sense of urgency about it. Either way, this is the right time for Android OEMs to swoop in and eat the cake.

Android smartphones like the HTC One X, the Samsung Galaxy S III etc have been doing fairly well in the market. The Galaxy S III in fact is one of the hot selling smartphones currently. The number drastically increased post the arrival of the iPhone 5, which doesn’t really surprise us. Generally, people hold off their plans of purchasing a smartphone whenever there’s a newer smartphone about to hit the stores. And this is exactly what happened in the week before the launch of the iPhone 5 as people wanted to see what the iPhone 5 would be like before committing to another device. The sales of the Galaxy S III though saw a growth of 15% on the week of the new iPhone’s launch. The Galaxy S III still continues to sell well in the market and the sales don’t seem like halting anytime soon.

apple-maps
This is Apple Maps

The iPhone debacle will provide Android OEMs an opportunity to make the best of the situation. There are plenty of deprived iOS customers looking to make the switch to Android. Samsung has the Galaxy Note II prepping launch in the States and Motorola has a bunch of droids lined up too. Lest we forget HTC’s One X+ which is an upgraded variant of the original One X along with the LG Optimus G and also the new LG Nexus that the whole Android sphere is eagerly looking forward to. It won’t take a genius to guess that it will do a fair bit of damage to the iPhone market share. Unless Apple decides to do something drastically different to fix the aforementioned bugs, we don’t see it making any damage to the barrage of Droids hitting shelves in the coming months. It’s normal to feel that post Steve Jobs, Apple has lost its touch a little. But it’s still one of the biggest companies out there in terms of sheer money power, so it is certainly capable of taking a fair bit of beating.

Google’s Nexus 7 along with Amazon’s Kindle Fire make up for the Android budget tablet range. And as you all know, Apple has plans to compete with them with the rumored iPad Mini. It’s still not clear if the rumor will materialize, but several image leaks and mockups have pretty much revealed its existence. The pricing will be a key factor in the success of the iPad Mini much like the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7. So expect the budget tablet market to get heated up in the coming weeks with the anticipated arrival of the iPad Mini. We cannot forget the likes of Kindle Fire HD and the Nook HD, HD+ which are also awaiting release in November. So all will not be easy for Apple, not in the current scenario at least.

Image Credit

Google Maps Street View now Available to iPhone Users via Web App

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The iOS 6 Maps app hasn’t been kind to iPhone users ever since it was made available last month. The fact that Google Maps was removed in favor of this so called “better” app, was like adding fuel to fire. Tons of iPhone users were expecting Google to launch the Google Maps app in the iTunes AppStore at least to make life a little easier, but that didn’t happen either. But thanks to Google, there is a way iPhone users can finally get the Google Maps experience. Google has just updated the web app of Google Maps to bring the Street View feature. While this is not as perfect as the complete application, it does the job fairly well.

To get access to this app, all a user has to do is head over to Google Maps via Safari on the iPhone/iPad and click on the third icon from the bottom of the screen (the one with a tiny person on it) and enjoy Street View the way it was intended. So finally deprived iPhone users can breathe a sigh of relief with them being able to experience at least some part of the original Google Maps experience. This makes us think as to how long it will take for the actual app to make way to the AppStore. But we’re guessing Google wouldn’t want to make things that easy and rightly so. No other mobile platform other than Android, has a separate application for Google Maps, not that we know of at least. So we are guessing Google would want to keep it that way.

Alternatively, there are other third party Maps applications in the AppStore freely available, which are not as smooth as Google Maps but will still do alright. We can understand the frustration of the iPhone users, which should aid them to make the switch to Android or probably Nokia Windows Phones as Nokia has a pretty neat Maps service. What would your word of advice for iOS users be? Switch to Android or make peace with what they have?

Source: iPhone In Canada
Via: Phone Arena

Apple Maps is not “the most powerful” mapping service anymore

With the launch of iPhone 5, Apple also introduced the sequel of its mobile operating system, the iOS 6. In iOS 6, Apple has basically stripped the OS of any Google elements, including the iconic Google Maps that has been on the home screen since the launch of first iPhone. The update brings plethora of other new features which are great, but Apple has replaced the default mapping app from Google Maps to its own mapping service, Apple Maps.

Technically, Apple users are forced to switch the app they use for maps. It’s the first version of Apple Maps, and there are a lot of imperfections. The service has been criticized a lot and several users have reported that it doesn’t deliver the information they are looking for, and is not reliable to sum it up. Several companies and organizations including Nokia, Motorola and Nasa have taken advantage of the situation to make fun of Apple Maps and market their own products in some cases. Apple made a surprising move few days back when it came out and admitted that its mapping product isn’t reliable as it was thought to be, and suggested various alternatives while they work on a fix.

This is what Tim Cook had to say

“While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.”

Things are currently challenging for Apple because the reliable Google Maps is no longer available to download for iOS users. According to the Cupertino based technology giant, it wanted to provide customers with turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps, so developing a new version of maps from ground up was necessary, but that clearly isn’t working as expected. For the new maps, Apple has teamed up with TomTom for their data set, which is a bit weak when compared to what Google is equipped with. After all these criticism, TomTom has responded saying that it just responsible for “foundation” of Apple Maps and has no hands in deciding the final user experience. It’s worth noting that TomTom’s own iOS application works totally fine. Also, the word has it that Apple still had a year long contract left with

Google to use Google Maps on their iOS, but Apple chose not to use it, which has of course converted into a lot of frustration for the users.
After Cook’s statement the other day, Apple has made another surprising move. Previously, Apple described its maps application as “the most powerful mapping service ever” on its website, but after all the controversy surrounding the app, it has erased those words and replaced it with the statement, “All in a beautiful vector-based interface that scales and zooms with ease.”

Apple has been hiring Google Maps veterans in a bid to fix its own mapping app and is looking forward to fix it in the next update. What are your thoughts on this?

Source: PhoneArena

NASA And Motorola Poke Fun At iOS 6, Learn How To Get Google Maps Back On Your iOS Device

With the release of the iPhone, we should all know by now of Apple’s new replacement of Google Maps in iOS6. In fact, with the recent coverage it’s been getting, everyone in the world should know about this new replacement. Apple has proudly introduced “Apple Maps” during their iOS 6 keynote, which will be the full replacement for Google Maps. As we all know, this is just another step to eliminate Google from their iOS devices. As implied earlier, there has been a lot of coverage surrounding Apple Maps, and the apparent lack of information within the maps application. With how much they were boasting about this new application, it did give me quite a laugh. That said, a lot of people have been poking fun at it due to how terrible the app is. And now, Google’s newly acquired Motorola is joining in on the fun!

Looking for 315 E 15th in Manhattan? Google Maps on DROID RAZR M will get you there & not #iLost in Brooklyn.

The tweet was seen both on their Motorola Mobility Google+ page, and also on on their Twitter page. The message is pretty clear though. It’s on obvious advertisement for their new RAZR M device with its edge to edge screen. I’m personally waitng to see #iLost a trending topic on both Twitter and Google+, surely it won’t be that long?

This isn’t the only company making fun off iOS 6 though. NASA’s own Curiosity Rover claimed that he was updated to iOS 6 and was now in Norway! What a terrible coincidence. Here’s the Curiosity Rover’s entire tweet:

NASA HAVE UPDATED ME TO iOS 6. APPARENTLY I’M NOW IN NORWAY.

Poking fun aside, if you’re wanting Google Maps back instead of this crummy “improvement” that was in iOS 6, it’s fairly easy to get back. Just head on over to the Google Maps website, allow it to track your location, and after that just make an internet shortcut on your iOS device. While it’s not an entire supplement of the native application, it should do you some good for now, and it definitely will not be telling you to turn left into oncoming traffic. No, Google would rather keep you alive than plan out your death like Apple has with this new application.

It’s pretty sad that all of the major companies are making fun of Apple. It just proves how terrible of a job Apple has done with the new rendition of iOS 6. Aren’t you happy to own an Android device? Especially after the iPhone 5 launch?

source: android central

 

London Underground attempts to solve iOS 6 Maps issue

With the launch of iPhone 5, Apple also introduced the sequel of its mobile operating system, the iOS 6. The update brings plethora of new features, and with this update, Apple has replaced the default mapping app from Google Maps to its own mapping service.

Basically, users are forced to switch the app they use, though users can still access Google Maps via browser. Anyways, the Apple Maps have been subject to a lot of criticism lately. It’s brand new, so obviously there are numerous imperfections. The service is still in its infancy and Apple has responded to the criticism saying that the app will be developed off the back of customer feedback.

This is what Apple had to say:
“We launched this new map service knowing it is a major initiative and that we are just getting started with it. Maps is a cloud-based solution and the more people use it, the better it will get. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.”

The main criticism is the missing reliable information on transportation, and that could be a major problem for people who rely heavily on public transportation like the subway. One such city is London where people rely heavily on the tube in order to navigate around the city, and the information that Apple Maps has to offer isn’t accurate and has lost its credibility anyways. The London Underground, however, has a great solution for this. Below is the picture tweeted by Twitter user Ben Mathis.

The amusing photo instructs iOS 6 users to get local area map from the booking office. The main problem is that Apple went out and teamed up with a mapping player that is equipped with weak data set, and with that kind of data, they want to compete with Google, and all of us know that Google is equipped with highest data set. It’s not just normal users who are upset with Apple’s new mapping service, but even developers who are looking to integrate this into their apps are disappointed with this. Apple’s decision to replace Google Maps comes after Apple’s agreement with Google regarding Maps came to an end.

Users are reporting problems such as popping buildings in rivers. Some users reported The Guardian that Paddington station had vanished, London had been relocated to Ontario, the Sears Tower in Chicago had shrunk, and Helsinki railway station had been turned into a park.

London Underground’s temporary fix may not be deliver turn-by-turn navigation, but at least the information will be credible and more reliable than what Apple Maps has to offer. As said earlier, users can still access web version of Google Maps on their iDevices, but it’s going to be a bit slow. Also, Android phones are receiving great updates for Google Maps in the meantime. The outcome of Apple Maps has been pretty embarrassing for Apple, and we hope the company will fix all the issues in the next update. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know using the comment form below.

Apple Maps sources decoded

 

With the launch of Apple’s latest version of iOS, the iOS6, Apple will no longer use Google Maps for its mapping needs. Instead of Google Maps, the Cupertino based technological giant will be using its own Apple Maps.

Apple Maps will boast voice guided turn by turn navigation and 3D maps. Besides these, there are plenty more features that will be coming to iOS 6 in the Maps area. With the news of Apple adding 3D maps to Apple Maps, Google has also added this capability to Google Maps recently. As of now, Google offers virtual models in few cities including Los Angeles, Rome, Geneva, San Francisco, and Boston, but the company is planning to make that list longer in the weeks to come. iOS 6 maps is currently under beta, so Google Maps is the only place where you can view 3D maps, and you can get it on iOS devices too.

So far, Apple iOS 6 Maps app includes “flyover” mode for only few places and cities including Las Vegas, Chicago, LA, Copenhagen, Miami, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Montreal, Melbourne, Sydney, and Sacramento and Apple may not update the list until final release.

Apple isn’t launching its map service without any help. Apple of course relies on various sources to get its service up and running. Back in June, few leaked screenshots from iOS6 developer beta running on an iPhone 4S suggested that TomTom, a Dutch manufacturer of automotive navigation systems, was the main data provider for Apple Maps. It was later confirmed by TomTom that it had indeed signed a global agreement with Apple for maps and various other information service. It should be noted that TomTom is not a stranger to iOS, in fact it has been providing its own navigation app and car kit for iOS devices since 2009. The screen shot mentioned “data from TomTom, others” which indicates that there are other companies behind iOS 6 Apple Maps too. Let’s take a look at all the other providers of Apple Maps and their roles which will give birth to a revolutionary way of viewing maps.

TomTom
TomTom is the main provider for this new service. Apple Maps depends on maps from TomTom in order to get the user from one point to another. TomTom can be found on Nike+ SportWatch GPS and other items too. As of now, you cannot purchase voice packs like Wallace and Gromit that can be found on TomTom devices as an option.

Urban Mapping for Neighborhoods
Neighborhood information in Apple Maps is delivered by Urban Mapping. Urban Mapping uses Smart Boundary Technology, a patent pending technology which can capture the ambiguous space that is situated where neighborhood boundaries meet, overlap or create gaps, balancing user needs and technical requirements.
Urban Mapping says, “The ZIP code 10014 has little meaning for most people. But say SoHo, and you will evoke reactions based on cultural, social and historical references.”

With this data, users can find places quickly with better accuracy. It should be noted that Urban Mapping also provides Mass Transit information which Apple didn’t opt for. The service includes information such as
• Locations of system, line, station and individual entrances/exits
• accessibility notes, escalators, elevators
• operating hours, attendant booths and hours
• bike lockers
• restrooms
• parking (hours, number of spaces, cost)
• shelter information
• retail amenities
• station cafes and much more.

Apple may add Mass Transit information to Apple Maps soon, but for now, it doesn’t exist. With Mass Transit information, users can stay alert if the train or bus is running on schedule or not. Recently, Nokia added the capability to Nokia Maps and is called as Nokia Transport. The service gives walk directions in order to help the user reach the next stop and from the last stop to his destination. Timetable information of over 86 cities is also available. The feature received a lot of attention and was launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

WAZE Social Mapping
Waze is a popular GPS and traffic app which is available free of cost for iOS and Android devices. Waze is basically a community based GPS traffic and navigational app that relies on muscle of the crowd to fetch tips on the quickest way to reach the destination. Waze lets its users to report traffic accidents, traffic jams and other issues that may slow down your journey and re-routes you through the quickest possible route.
Apple will be using Waze’s data, but Apple says that it is using only “Map data” from Waze, hence it’s unlikely that the social component will make it to iOS 6 Apple Maps. As of now, Apple Maps doesn’t include any kind of neighborhood service similar to Waze, but it does let you to report problems. It would be nice if Apple integrated social reports of traffic, speed traps and other road hazards into Apple Maps for iOS 6, nevertheless, Waze is free and will still be available for iOS, so if you wish to have such features, you can opt to use Waze separately.

Localeze and Acxiom
Apple seems to be taking help from Localeze and Acxiom for finding local businesses. Localeze and Acxiom will be responsible for delivering information on phone numbers, addresses and various other details on businesses.

NASA Maps
Nasa provides mapping information to Google Maps as well. It’s safe to say that NASA will be providing satellite imagery and topographical data for Apple Maps. Back in 2009, NASA collected 1.3 million images using a Japanese instrument onboard the spacecraft, which allowed the space agency to create topographic map that covers 99 percent of the entire globe in a giant grid of measurements. If you are interested, you can download the map in a 26 MB TIFF format from here.

Yelp for Reviews
Yelp.com is a social networking, user review, and local search web site. As of January 2012, the website receives over 71 million monthly unique visitors. Apple has integrated Yelp reviews in its new Apple Maps for iOS 6. When the user searches for restaurant, a Yelp rating star is displayed. It also allows to view Yelp reviews and photos. On Apple Maps, viewing Yelp profile is just piece of cake.

Apple also includes data from various other sources. Full list of sources can be found here. A lot has been said about iOS 6 already. Apple claims to have stuffed over 200 new features in iOS 6. Apple Maps will arrive with iOS 6 on iPhone 5, and the device launch is just round the corner. It is rumored that the production of next generation of iPhone has already commenced and a device was supposedly even smuggled out of the factory line. Apple currently rules 34% of the smartphone market, which is also highest by a single manufacturer, and that number is expected to be on fire once iPhone 5 launches. The smartphone war is all set to get interesting. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know using the comment form below.