Since its launch in 2007, Apple’s iPhone carried Google’s mapping software on its home screen. This provided iPhone users directions as well as terrain information at their fingertip especially when they are on the road. At the recently concluded Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, it announced that Google Maps will be discontinued as the default on iPhones and IPads. Instead Apple will introduce its own navigation.
Navigation is the most popular app on a smartphone. Ever since introduction of Google’s Android operating system, apple felt uncomfortable with the use of Google navigation on iPhones. Center of the controversy is Google’s patent for the spoken turn-by-turn directions.
Apple’s new navigation system will feature real time traffic data, maps similar to Google Earth and voice navigation.
The on-going battle between Apple and Google for navigation superiority is good for the consumer. Google has a fleet of private aircraft owners that map the entire world. Google is also enhancing its 3D imaging much closer to pictures taken by its contractors. It allows users to download large portions of maps that customers are visiting at a time making it unnecessary to get turn-by-turn navigation. On the other hand, Apple has financial capability to compete with Google.