It’s been rumored for a couple of years now, but it looks like Apple is finally cutting cords with the competition. 9to5Mac has uncovered that in iOS 6, Apple will ditch Google Maps in favor of a custom-tailored Maps application of its own.
Apple is working on a mapping database so it will no longer have to rely on Google’s backend to power the Maps app on iOS. Since Apple and Google have been fighting back and forth over accusations that Android copies from iOS (if you’re just learning of this for the first time, welcome back from hibernation,) it only seems appropriate that Apple stop using Google’s services in its mobile operating system. The Cupertino-based moneymaker is able to create a maps database thanks to its acquisitions of mapping companies Placebase, C3 Technologies, and Poly9 in recent years.
The new Maps app will feature a 3D mapping technology stemming directly from the C3 acquisition in October. It can display realistic structure models to make it seem like you’re actually viewing that location in person. It looks to be a Google Street View on steroids. According to 9to5Mac, all of this tech will be accessible once the user taps on a freshly designed Maps icon — the same 1 Infinite Loop address mapped but with a different color scheme.
If it’s ready in time, the new iOS Maps app should be debuted as part of iOS 6. It’s an exciting addition to the OS, but if it ends up being this year’s flagship new feature, I imagine a lot of people will be left disappointed. Apple is expected to announce iOS 6 at WWDC 2012 next month and release in the fall.