Apple has an incredible headline feature in development for iOS 6: a completely in-house maps application. Apple will drop the Google Maps program running on iOS since 2007 in favor for a new Maps app with an Apple backend. The application design is said to be fairly similar to the current Google Maps program on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, but it is described as a much cleaner, faster, and more reliable experience.
While Apple has always had full control of the actual iOS Maps application design, the backend has belonged to Google. That will change with iOS 6 thanks to their purchases of Placebase, C3 Technologies, and Poly9; acquisitions that Apple has used to create a complete mapping database.
Now that the application is fully in-house, it is being referred to simply as “Maps” (some people call the current version Google Maps because of the backend). We reported prior to the launch of iOS 5 that Apple and Google had extended their Maps deal, and now it is obvious when that deal ends.
Signifying the application’s complete re-write is a new logo for iOS Maps: it is basically a redesigned version of the current iOS Maps icon with a view of Apple’s 1 Infinite Loop Campus, but redrawn with a new color scheme. Apple’s replacement for Google Street View will likely also be an in-house solution. C3 Technologies worked on street view capability as shown in the photo above.
The most important aspect of the new Maps application is a powerful new 3D mode. The 3D mode does not come enabled by default, but users simply need to click a 3D button that is conveniently and visibly stored in the app. Perhaps under the fold like the current traffic, pin, and map view buttons. This 3D mode is said to essentially be technology straight from C3 Technologies: beautiful, realisitic graphics based on de-classified missile target algorithms.