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New iOS 6 Maps App To “Blow Your Head Off”

New iOS 6 Maps App To “Blow Your Head Off”

John Paczkowski at All Things Digital confirms a rumor published this morning by Mark Gurman at 9to5mac: Apple’s forthcoming iOS 6, set to be announced at WWDC, will feature a new Maps application based off Apple’s new mapping backend.

We’ve independently confirmed that this is indeed the case. Sources describe the new Maps app as a forthcoming tent-pole feature of iOS that will, in the words of one, “blow your head off.” I’m not quite sure what that means, and the source in question declined to elaborate, but it’s likely a reference to the photorealistic 3-D mapping tech Apple acquired when it purchased C3 Technologies.

That Apple was going to replace Google Maps with a different technology – and quite possibly its own – is nothing new, at least from a rumor perspective. In the past years, a series of tidbits of information and facts seemed to suggest that Apple was on track to deliver a different Maps application for iOS in the future. Last summer, a series of legal disclaimers pointed at various mapping technologies being used by Apple in iOS, but the rumored new mapping tech that was allegedly meant for iOS 5 didn’t ship with the major update in October, as Apple and Google renewed a deal to use Google Maps in iOS.

In April 2011, Apple confirmed they were “collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database”, although without specifying whether such service could see a public implementation in a new Maps app for iOS. More than a year ago, we wrote how “in the past years, several job listings on Apple’s website hinted at open positions in the iOS team for map engineers and navigation experts, suggesting that Apple was working on its own proprietary solution to ditch Google Maps on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The acquisitions of mapping companies Placebase and Poly9 in 2009 and 2010, respectively, gave some credence to the reports that pointed at Apple willing to become the next major player in the mobile mapping scene.”

Most recently, Apple officially acknowledged they are using OpenStreetMap data in iPhoto for iOS.