Here’s something very small from Apple that could quickly become very big.
Apple has acquired a couple of mapping startups over the last few years. We’ve been waiting to see what it plans to do with those companies, and this appears to be the start of those efforts.
Google Maps are very good, but considering the frosty relationship between Apple and Google it’s odd that Apple still relies on Google for such an important iPhone function.
Plus, if Apple totally controls the Maps on the iPhone, it could, in theory, offer something better than Google making iPhones and iPads better than Android devices. It could also end up offering something worse, making iOS devices worse than Android.
Anyway, the Maps app is probably the fourth* most important native application on the phone. And it hasn’t seen any major upgrades since the first iPhone. It’s due for something big, and maybe this is a sneak peek at what we’ll get.
Side by side comparison. Hackett says the Google Maps data is more accurate than Apple’s.
UPDATE: Just as we set this post live, we saw that OpenStreetMap said Apple was using its data for this map. Thus, it doesn’t seem to be an Apple mapping solution. In fact, OpenStreetMap says Apple is using outdated information.
Photo: 512 Pixels
*1. email, 2. text messages, 3. Safari, 4. Maps