Apple Maps update brings turn-by-turn navigation, Google-rivalling features

Apple has announced a significant update to its mapping service to be offered as part of iOS 6, at its WWDC in San Francisco today.

The update, which includes a swathe of features, is likely to send a shiver down the spine of the likes of Co-Pilot and TomTom, which both offer paid-for mapping and navigation solutions on iOS.

The new map features, presented by Scott Forstall, senior VP of iOS software at Apple, will include stand-out features such as turn-by-turn navigation, rivalling the sort of free solution that Android users have taken for granted with Google Maps Navigation for a number of years.

The new mapping solution has been built "from the ground up", giving global coverage, and will integrate local searching, including Yelp for businesses. 

Apple also announced that it is working on a traffic solution, harvesting information in real time from iPhone users, which sounds a lot like one of the methods TomTom uses to collate data in its HD Traffic service. Routes can be recalculated if the traffic situation changes, to help your journey be as smooth as possible.

The new mapping service will also be integrated with Siri, so you'll be able to speak your destination to your iPhone. The voice of Siri also swings in with directions, so that familiar voice will guide you to your final destination.

You can get a 3D flyover of cities and the maps are vector based just like Google's - which should make make loading nice and fast.

Maps will be rolling out with iOS 6, expected Autumn 2012.



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