Apple has announced that it will be dumping Google maps from its iOS operating system in lieu of its own new mapping and navigation system, which will be available for free on its devices in the fall. The revamp has many features of interest to motorists.
World Wide Developer’s Conference
The changes were announced Monday at the World Wide Developer’s Conference, which is running from June 11 to June 15 at the Moscone West, San Francisco, where Apple’s new iOS 6 operating system was unveiled. The platform will be in future Apple devices, even those that can be integrated into cars.
Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iOS Software, said at the conference Monday:
“In iOS 6, we have built an entire new mapping solution from the ground up, and it is beautiful.”
Siri in your dashboard
Apple announced that it will be putting its well-publicized Siri voice into your dashboard. General Motors and eight other automakers have committed to putting a dedicated button on future steering wheels to give hands-free access to devices supporting the calculatedly-soothing control voice.
Siri is also well-versed in local businesses, and a verbal inquiry while on the road will result in a nearly-instant response should you get a hankering for a certain type of fast food while mid-trip. The tech giant says it has integrated more than 100 million business listings into its new operating system.
Apple navigation utility
Apple also says it will throw out Google Maps in favor of its own navigation utility. The new system offers spoken-word turn-by-turn directions, constantly updated estimated times of arrival, as well as real-time traffic information. Various icons are used to warn of upcoming congestion, reported accidents and the like. Re-route options are also displayed in real time.
In planning a route, the service also offers a virtual car to drive the route from point A to point B, if you choose. The route is clearly illuminated through translucent buildings.
Apple also said that it is working on a service to allow anonymous tips from other drivers about upcoming congestion or traffic hazards, so that it will not have to rely solely on publicly-reported impediments.
Apple, for all its often-criticized Big Brother-like exclusivity, is forward thinking as it expands the computer technology that defines our age to meet the needs of an increasingly technical driving experience.