In case you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, Apple removed Google Maps from the upcoming iOS6, replacing the Google Maps platform with an in-house solution built-in conjunction with TomTom. The maps in iOS6 brings some awesome new features to iOS, such as a 3D Flyover, turn-by-turn navigation, and crowd-sourced real-time traffic info.
This last bit sounds a lot like Waze, an application for Android and iOS that brings real-time crowd-sourced traffic information to these platforms. Many in the industry thought that Waze was essentially killed off by Apple’s announcement, though we’ve learned this couldn’t be further from the truth. Embedded in the same legal section that outed TomTom as Apple’s partner is a reference to Waze, who along with other partners will be providing Apple with the real-time traffic information in Apple’s new Maps program.
It’s good to hear that Waze is playing a role in Apple Maps, as I generally like the concept of Waze but never found much use for it as a standalone application. Since I use Google Navigation for essentially all of my driving needs, having this real-time traffic information built right into the maps and navigation programs makes the information useful. Adding Waze to the mix could give Apple the advantage over Google’s Navigation, which has traffic information that isn’t quite real-time, at least in my experience.