Apple’s mapping partnership with rival Google will be officially terminated with the release of iOS 6, which will include Apple’s own mapping service. Announcing these developments at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference, Apple said its service will include Siri’s voice capabilities, three-dimensional imagery, turn-by-turn navigation, and even traffic updates that take place in real-time.
Not all devices will be able to take advantage. Because the turn-by-turn navigation requires Siri to dictate directions, The Inquirer of London reports that only the iPhone 4S and upcoming versions will be able to truly experience these features.
Apple won’t be working alone: navigation firm TomTom will be providing the maps for iPhone users. According to The Register, TomTom has no conflicts of interest, so forming a partnership with them could be beneficial for both companies.
For Google, this could be a painful hit, as about half its map traffic can be attributed to iPhones and iPads, as well as the fact that useful mapping data can be acquired from these users to improve the mapping service.
In speaking with The Inquirer of London, a spokesperson for Google stated, “We’ve been working on maps for years, [and] in fact just announced some exciting new developments for Google Maps and Google Earth last week, and are looking forward to continuing to build the perfect map for our users in the months and years ahead.” Whose mapping service will reign supreme: Apple’s or Google’s? With these changes, only time will tell.