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Apple's new 3D Maps in iOS 6 will ditch Google, 'blow your head off'

post #1 of 145
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Apple is expected to revamp its Maps application in the next major update to its iOS mobile operating system, moving away from the Google Maps service to provide its own solution that will reportedly feature photorealistic 3D mapping technology.

Citing anonymous sources familiar with the new version of Maps, John Paczkowski of All Things D reported on Friday that the new feature is expected to be unveiled at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which will be held June 11 through 15 in San Francisco, Calif. The new Maps are currently planned to be shown off in a keynote that will kick off the event, the report said.

"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,'" Paczkowski wrote. "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."

Apple's proprietary mapping solution has been a long time in the making. The company's plans were first signaled in 2009, when it purchased Placebase, a competitor to Google Maps.

Then, in 2010, Apple bought Poly9, another mapping company, and began using its own location databases for the Maps application with the launch of iOS 3.2 for the first-generation iPad. Another key acquisition came in 2011, when Apple bought C3 Technologies, a Sweden-based 3D mapping company.


In 2010, a set of Apple patent applications showed that the company was looking into using future iPhones to generate 3D models of an object or place.Another application filed last August entitled "Augmented Reality Maps" described an invention that would overlay data such as directions or street names in real time on top of live video. Apple has also filed for a "Schematic Maps" patent where a mapping application would dynamically emphasize or exaggerate details such as roads or landmarks.

Traffic could also play a key role in Apple's new Maps application for iOS 6. The company publicly announced last April that it was "collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database."

In a series of answers provided to U.S. Congress as part of an iOS-related location database controversy last year, Apple said its "improved traffic service" would launch in "the next couple of years." The company declined to share further details.
post #2 of 145
I am very excited, been waiting a long time for this ...
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #3 of 145

Long. Time. Coming.

 

And we've KNOWN it was coming for a long time, so that makes it even worse. lol.gif

 

Can't wait for this. I don't want to see any Google services or them credited anywhere in iOS 6 (save for Gmail and the relevant legal text for that, of course).

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #4 of 145

I have been stating that 2012 is the year for Apple Maps since the release of the new iPad.  Apple appreciates synergy across devices and markets to enjoy high margins due to economies of scale. 

 

A 3D Apple Maps solution with an amazing user experience will likely require:

 

Quad-Core GPU (PowerVR SGX543MP4 such as used in Apple A5X SOC)

1024 GB RAM

LTE Connectivity

 

Even with 90% usage of Placebase 2D data augmented by "schematic maps" 3D data from Poly9 and C3 Technologies the solution would massively tax iPhone 4S.

 

The only issue I see is the limited availability of C3 Technologies type maps for all major and medium-sized cities especially outside North America.

post #5 of 145

All I want is a map.  Something that will load QUICKLY when I need to see where I am and where I'm going.

 

Another victory for the shiny-objects crowd.  

post #6 of 145

It would be pretty cool if they did something with traffic (opt in, obviously), whereby your iPhone could send them information about where it is and how fast it's going.

 

Given how many people have iPhones, they could pretty quickly get a real world impression of traffic flow pretty much everywhere.

post #7 of 145

Now I know why Woz was tailgating me on his Segway with a helmet cam during rush hour...

 

>Traffic could also play a key role in Apple's new Maps application for iOS 6. The company publicly announced last April that it was "collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database."

post #8 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post

All I want is a map.  Something that will load QUICKLY when I need to see where I am and where I'm going.

 

Another victory for the shiny-objects crowd.  

You might be on the wrong website if ...

post #9 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The company declined to share further details.

How odd. Apple are normally so forthcoming.....
post #10 of 145

I reckon it's more likely to be a software feature to sell the iPhone 5s in 2013, much like they did with Siri for 4S.

post #11 of 145

It will "blow your head off" because you can see people walking around like SimCity.

post #12 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post

All I want is a map.  Something that will load QUICKLY when I need to see where I am and where I'm going.

Another victory for the shiny-objects crowd.  


Available at your local gas station.
post #13 of 145

Looking forward to it. But I tend to hope for a hybrid app—some Google-based views, some non-Google based modes too. After all, the front-end has always been Apple’s. The back end could draw on multiple sources, in theory.

 

A totally Google-free app wouldn’t bother me IF it does the job well, and I know that sometimes in the tech world, a difficult transition period is unavoidable. But I’d hate to lose, for instance, the mass transit directions (a Google service) and all the Street View panos which probably cover areas C3 has not, I’d guess.

 

(But if I do lose those things, I’ll just use Google’s own app or site instead sometimes. My iPhone will still do what I ask of it! Continuing to use just ONE map app would be preferable though. I love the current Maps app; it's everything from help finding parking to my current go-to “telephone book” for calling businesses.)

post #14 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter02l View Post


Available at your local gas station.

Good one ... lol.gif

Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #15 of 145

Blow your socks off if you happen to be at home with a good WiFi connection.  If you are actually anywhere you 'need' a mapping function, you will be out of luck because of bandwidth lack, cost or unavailability.  If a navigation device doesn't have the data on-board, it is about as useful as a flashlight without batteries.

 

Bit like the non-event iCloud has been.

post #16 of 145
As others have stated: I can't wait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I reckon it's more likely to be a software feature to sell the iPhone 5s in 2013, much like they did with Siri for 4S.
Perhaps, if there is specific HW for it to work well. With Siri there is HW on the ASIC. I have not idea but it could be there is some HW able bought or designed that will help reader these graphics more effectively in terms of performance. If there isn't a performance issue my guess is that will be for all iOS 6 devices to help pull more completely from Google.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #17 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Blow your socks off if you happen to be at home with a good WiFi connection.  If you are actually anywhere you 'need' a mapping function, you will be out of luck because of bandwidth lack, cost or unavailability.  If a navigation device doesn't have the data on-board, it is about as useful as a flashlight without batteries.

 

Bit like the non-event iCloud has been.

 

Glass half empty much?  

 

I'll never understand why conservatives frequent technology sites so much, which are really all about the new, and doing things differently. 

 

PS - note to AppleInsider ... could you at least make the smileys work again?  Your shiny new site is always half broken if you run a secure browser.  It adds nothing the old one didn't already have and takes a bunch of stuff away. 

post #18 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

It would be pretty cool if they did something with traffic (opt in, obviously), whereby your iPhone could send them information about where it is and how fast it's going.

 

Given how many people have iPhones, they could pretty quickly get a real world impression of traffic flow pretty much everywhere.

I hope that Apple has taken a few queues from Waze about providing GPS services.  Of course, I hope that Apple's solution provides turn-by-turn directions with dynamic routing with a large indicator for distance to next turn, direction of next turn (arrow); total distance total time and ETA to destination.  The sensitivity and specificity of the compass needs improvement as well.  The existing solution wouldn't be horrible if they simply added those features and a "birds eye view."

 

Hopefully, Apple provides a "check-in" feature or API.


Edited by MacBook Pro - 5/11/12 at 12:42pm
post #19 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I reckon it's more likely to be a software feature to sell the iPhone 5s in 2013, much like they did with Siri for 4S.

 

I disagree.  

 

This kind of thing is really doomed two fail if the base functionality doesn't at least *work* on the current set of phones out there and I don't see any reason why it should.  You mention Siri but that's really just another argument for my point of view.  In Canada and lots of other places, Siri has become sort of a joke in that it can't really do anything but say "can I look that up on the web for you."  

 

Siri not only requires the latest hardware, it works very poorly everywhere outside of the USA.  Everyone in my circle of friends thinks Siri is almost a total fail.  Which just shows that it's a really bad idea to release some whiz-bang technology if it's only going to work for some people in some places some of the time.  

 

Maps especially, have to be a solution for everyone, even if the experience varies slightly from device to device. If this maps thing comes out and everyone in Canada fires up their devices only to be greeted with "there is currently no map of your city," it will be an epic disaster. 

post #20 of 145

It's cool that the map will be 3D, but personally I think all that graphic is too distracting.  I use Maps on my iPhone on a weekly basis when I drive because it helps me discover many short-cuts and small streets to avoid traffic.  However when ever I use the app, I always use 'standard' view because the roads are shown clearly.  For me, I would be much more interested in this new 3D map if Apple also released a turn-by-turn navigation app for driving.  That way I can also ditch my other navigation apps, eg. TomTom and Sygic, because they bloat up my iPhone's memory, and frankly they suck.

post #21 of 145

I thought Google has planned to start charging a fee for the use of their map service. So, economically, it pays to stop using Google map. Of course, Apple will not go out without a big bang lol.gif
 

post #22 of 145

I really hope that it does not require a constant download from the internet.  It would be nice to have a mapping system that can work with what has been downloaded before, and will download updates in the background as they come up, but those downloads and updates do not hinder the experience.  I cannot stand waiting for google maps to load as I stare at the screen, knowing that I have used the exact same area just minutes before when I opened it last.  

 

This would not have to be some ugh download either.  In a new area, when things download, they are cached.  That way, as you cover areas you gradually build up a cache of data so the maps application can work, at least in those areas, offline.  If you go to a new area, things are downloaded.  New files are updated and downloaded as they are encountered.

 

I guess the reason Google maps does it the way they do is because they sell advertising.  Hopefully this is not a factor in Apple's new maps application and we can ditch the requirement of a constant internet connection.

post #23 of 145
I'll try to act surprised web this is announced.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #24 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Blow your socks off if you happen to be at home with a good WiFi connection.  If you are actually anywhere you 'need' a mapping function, you will be out of luck because of bandwidth lack, cost or unavailability.  If a navigation device doesn't have the data on-board, it is about as useful as a flashlight without batteries.

 

Bit like the non-event iCloud has been.

You might be on the wrong website if ...

 

Minimally, Apple iCloud rivals competitor offerings.  A strong argument could be made that Apple iCloud is the best "cloud" offering available for anyone with an iPhone or iPad.  Apple iCloud is absolutely, positively, unquestionably the best "cloud" offering for anyone with more than one iPhone or iPad and more so with a Mac and AppleTV.

 

Why do you believe the new iPhone won't cache Maps data?  Why do you believe LTE service won't be sufficient?  Why do you believe that a 3D view must be applied universally to all objects within a view table?  Why do you believe compression may not be applied to geographic imaging data?  

 

Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!

post #25 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Blow your socks off if you happen to be at home with a good WiFi connection.  If you are actually anywhere you 'need' a mapping function, you will be out of luck because of bandwidth lack, cost or unavailability.  If a navigation device doesn't have the data on-board, it is about as useful as a flashlight without batteries.

 

Bit like the non-event iCloud has been.

 

Stuff that "just works" isn't supposed to be an "event".  iCloud is awesome at keeping everything in sync between devices.  Hard to imagine life without it anymore.  I expect the new maps will similarly fade into the background and be something you don't even have to think about.

 

The current maps app is pretty weak, especially compared to the state of the art.  Waze is a nice try, but it's always wrong.  Streetview isn't even currently available on iPhone.  There's a lot of room for improvement here.

post #26 of 145

I betcha all these cool new 3D things will only run on an iPhone 5, just like Siri only works on 4s.

post #27 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post
I reckon it's more likely to be a software feature to sell the iPhone 5s in 2013, much like they did with Siri for 4S.

 

How does that make any sense? Not just the fact that it'd be the iPhone 7 (known as "iPhone"), but the fact that Maps is available on all devices. What sense does it make to only have good maps on their newest device and leave everyone else out in the cold with Google Maps?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post
I thought Google has planned to start charging a fee for the use of their map service.

 

Ooh… source? That sounds terrible if it's true. 

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #28 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

Glass half empty much?  

 

I'll never understand why conservatives frequent technology sites so much, which are really all about the new, and doing things differently. 

 

PS - note to AppleInsider ... could you at least make the smileys work again?  Your shiny new site is always half broken if you run a secure browser.  It adds nothing the old one didn't already have and takes a bunch of stuff away. 


No, my cellar is quite well stocked thank you and the level in my glass tends to reflect that..

 

 I don't live in the US, neither do the majority of Apple's customers. Pervasive 3G coverage does not exist in many places, yet Apple have a consistent track record of introducing glossy attention catching features that rely on streaming large amounts of data in order to function - face time, Siri, iCloud, and from the sounds of it, this map function.  'No tickee, no washee.'  No data no mapee isn't thinking differently, it is just unintelligent.  It means Apple isn't really interested in offering their customers a 'real' navigation feature, just a superficial facsimile for the easily pleased and easily lead.

post #29 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

 

... Streetview isn't even currently available on iPhone.....

 

Actually, it is. 

post #30 of 145

And something NO BODY should leave home without.

 

It would suck to be half way there, and have your phone shit the bed, and not be able to get the rest of the way:) You'd be surprised how many folks can't read a map:(

 

Skip

post #31 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I reckon it's more likely to be a software feature to sell the iPhone 5s in 2013, much like they did with Siri for 4S.

What do you believe the marquee feature for the new iPhone (6th generation) will be?

 

I propose that Apple Maps is the perfect marquee feature for 2012:

 

An Apple Maps solution could dramatically extend the usefulness of Siri, another marquee feature.  In fact, an Apple Maps solution with excellent Siri integration is killing two birds with one stone.

  • C3 Technologies 3D mapping is definitely a marquee feature which you don't dispute.
  • Apple acquired 2D mapping developers, intellectual property and technology in 2009.
  • Apple acquired 3D mapping developers, intellectual property and technology in 2010.

 

An Apple Maps solution would likely require a substantial improvement in hardware but not necessarily a Cortex A15 based Apple CPU (Apple A6).  This would allow Apple to brand the 2013 iPhone as "iPhone 6S" using Cortex A15 for a substantial performance improvement (Cortex A15 isn't expected within the expected time frame for 2012 at any rate):

  • Apple likely has an appropriate GPU solution (Quad-Core GPU (PowerVR SGX543MP4 such as used in Apple A5X SOC))
  • Apple likely has sufficient RAM if they increase RAM to 1024 GB as in the new iPad (3rd generation)
  • Apple likely has sufficient connectivity with LTE as in the new iPad (3rd generation)

Edited by MacBook Pro - 5/11/12 at 1:26pm
post #32 of 145

Google probably makes a lot of money with its maps API.  This is one way to "combat" Google.

 

1 year from now: Everyone loves the new 3D Apple Maps.

 

2 years from now: 3D Google Maps for Android that is looks/feels like a knock-off.

post #33 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkerkay View Post

 

Actually, it is. 


I guess he has a new feature to play around with now.

post #34 of 145

Can you even imagine these 3D maps running on a 4K AppleTV? Boing!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #35 of 145
This is one area where Android has had a huge advantage.... Good to see Apple working up an realistic alternative....
post #36 of 145

...like the Nokia map app?  Should be a cool addition.  

post #37 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Can't wait for this. I don't want to see any Google services or them credited anywhere in iOS 6 (save for Gmail and the relevant legal text for that, of course).

 

Here, let me help; I think you mean:

I don't want to see any Google services or them credited anywhere in iOS 6, "especially" gmail !

 

Seriously, I agree with you as far as wanting everything attached to google off my iDevices.  Especially gmail.  These days for many people, email is their life story.  How can anyone possibly trust google with that data?!  Google's business model is very explicit: they profit from knowing as much as possible about their users and selling that data (usually in aggregate, at least for now) to their customers, who are obviously not their users.

No Matte == No Sale :-(
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No Matte == No Sale :-(
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post #38 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

 I don't live in the US, neither do the majority of Apple's customers. Pervasive 3G coverage does not exist in many places, yet Apple have a consistent track record of introducing glossy attention catching features that rely on streaming large amounts of data in order to function - face time, Siri, iCloud, and from the sounds of it, this map function.  'No tickee, no washee.'  No data no mapee isn't thinking differently, it is just unintelligent.  It means Apple isn't really interested in offering their customers a 'real' navigation feature, just a superficial facsimile for the easily pleased and easily lead.

 

It's not Apple's fault that you still live in 1997. Guess what. Ten years from now, people will be streaming even larger amounts of data than they do today. 

 

Apple isn't going to stop innovating and introducing new features just because a few people live in god forsaken, technologically primitive areas of the world without decent wireless coverage. That's not Apple's problem. It's those people's problem.

 

If somebody has a real crappy cell plan or very bad coverage, then they should just buy a dumb phone. iPhones aren't for those kind of people. If and when they decide to join to current century, then perhaps they might enjoy some of the benefits that modern devices provide.

post #39 of 145

Lets see samsung/hp copy that...and call it form factor...haha

post #40 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by vandil View Post

Google probably makes a lot of money with its maps API.  This is one way to "combat" Google.

1 year from now: Everyone loves the new 3D Apple Maps.

2 years from now: 3D Google Maps for Android that is looks/feels like a knock-off.
I'm not so sure about point number two.

If as described, it's a patented technology that is at root an algorithm, that should be a lock for quite a while. It would be like trying to copy Googles algorithm for search or create a new algorithm that does the same thing. It's possible, but very difficult and could take much longer than just a couple of years.
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