Apple Now Has MapsToday was WWDC, Apple's developer conference. And as always, that means a slew of new software updates and hardware refreshes. There were many standout updates including a new Macbook Pro with a retina display and iOS 6, but one of the most significant has to be Apple's new mapping solution.
Just like we reported they were going to do a while back, Apple has finally released a competitor to Google Maps. The map app comes with free turn-by-turn directions a la Google Maps, real-time traffic and incident reports (relying on anonymous crowdsourced data) and--this is the big thing--fully 3D maps.
The new 3D mode has to be seen to believe. As we reported, Apple bought a company that implemented photorealistic 3D mapping, and Apple has deeply integrated it into their solution. The 3D doesn't cover everywhere, yet--my city is sadly still 2D. In fact, almost every place I tried appeared to still be 2D. But where it does cover, the technology shows its power. If you happen to be an iPhone developer, try looking up the Sydney Opera House
Free turn-by-turn directions is also a hotly anticipated feature. Android phones have had it for years, while Apple hardware has had to rely on other commercial solutions.
Overall, this is an impressive first showing for a mapping solution. I can't wait to see where they take this, and it provides some much needed competition to Google's solutions. Maybe Google will start innovating again in the mapping space.