Apple ditches Google Maps software in latest iOS
Apple has unveiled its latest mobile operating system, iOS6, at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.
The operating system, which runs on its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices, will no longer include Google Maps software.
Apple will instead run its own mapping app, which has a high-quality 3D mode, on the platform.
Google announced its own 3D mapping software last week on its competing mobile platform, Android.
Both companies have used fleets of planes to capture the imagery, drawing concerns from some privacy campaigners.
Apple’s updated iOS software is being released in beta on Tuesday, and will be available for general consumers by the autumn, chief executive Tim Cook said.
It will be a free update for owners of either an iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS - as well as users of the latest iPad, the iPad 2 and fourth generation iPod touch.
Additional features include “eyes free”, a feature on which Apple said it had worked with car manufacturers to integrate a “Siri button” to activate the iPhone’s voice-operated assistant.
For the first time on Apple’s devices, video calls will be able to be made over a cellular connection, rather than relying on wi-fi.
The switch to its own mapping platform will provide Apple with even more opportunities to monetise its users, said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst for Gartner, who attended the event in San Francisco.
“Maps got the biggest cheer [from the audience],” she said.