Apple could be working on its own version of Google Street View, the service which offers an interactive view of any street.
In a section of the documentation for Apple Maps that addresses “Apple Maps vehicles,” the company says that it “will blur faces and licence plates on collected images prior to publication.” Google blurs out faces on Street View, suggesting that Apple may be launching a similar service.
After a rocky start, Apple Maps is now more popular than Google Maps on the iPhone and has a host of new features — such as public transport information — that rival Google’s offerings.
One notable feature that Google Maps has that Apple Maps doesn’t is Street View, which uses a patchwork of images taken by car-mounted cameras to show a street. Google has sent cars around the world to get the images needed for Street View and Apple appears to be doing something similar.
According to the “Driving Locations” schedule for Apple’s cars, the company will take photos of London, Paris, much of California, and New York between January 4 and February 14.
However, Apple could just be working to build-out its flyover feature, which offers 3D versions of well-known buildings, such as Parliament in London or the Empire State Building in New York, rather than creating its own Street View competitor.