The integrated Google Maps app will now be replaced by a new app “built from the ground up” that will feature traffic updates, turn-by-turn directions and a service that shows three dimensional images of cities, dubbed Flyover.
The move will come as a blow to Google, which is said to receive about half of its mobile map traffic from Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Thomas Husson, consumer product strategy analyst at Forrester, says the mapping move marks an opportunity for Apple and app developers to enable new product experiences for its own-branded products and offers. He adds that location is no longer a service, but is increasingly an enabler of new experiences.
“It is time to think beyond location alone but to couple this feature – which will be increasingly accurate, particularly indoors – with other data sources, such as user context and past behaviours. Mobile location becomes invisible and will increasingly be embedded into mobile products – from apps to other services,” he adds.
In another apparent snub to Google, Apple is also building Facebook into its new iOS 6 operating system, which is due out later this year. Google also has its own social network Google+.
Facebook will be better integrated into the system by allowing users to update their status by talking into their phones and giving them the ability to “like” apps in the iTunes store.
Shares in Google were down 2% to $568.5 last night.
The announcements came at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco last night (11 June). The event left some investors and tech commentators disappointed at the lack of bigger announcements, especially the absence of news about Apple’s reported move into making TV sets.
Apple’s shares closed at $571.17 yesterday, down $9.2. They were down a further $1.04 in after hours trading.