After Mac OS X, Apple released its iPhoto app on iOS platform on Wednesday – the debut day of third generation iPad. This app has raised eyebrows of Apple watchers as it seems the tech giant is trying to break off with Google Maps.
iPhoto is a image editing app introduced in the new iPad as a free candy. Otherwise, the app is available in iTunes Store and costs $4.99. The iPhoto app for iPad uses OpenStreetMap (OSM) for displaying geographical location data of captured photos instead of Google Maps. In iOS’ entire list of location based apps, maps are loaded from Google Servers and it is the first time that the tech giant is quietly ignoring Google Maps and retrieving location information from its own servers.
The Cupertino-based company renewed their contract with Google for search and location based services in 2010. The contract ends towards the end of 2012 and Apple still has not renewed the contract. With this iPhoto app for iPad, it is becoming clear that Apple might be breaking up with Google for mapping service.
Last year, Apple picked up Sweden-based 3D maps specialist C3 Technologies. Also in 2010, Apple acquired Canada based Poly9 – another 3D maps specialist, and Placebag in 2000. There were also rumors last year about Apple hunting a Maps Application Developer for iOS platform. Even Apple said last year that anonymous user location data is being recorded to create its own traffic database.
OpenStreetMap service is mediocre compared to Google Maps. But these different mapping-based possessions give a clear view that Apple is building its own mapping solution with rich 3D Maps.
Apple is ignoring Google Maps and it seems the tech giant will release its own mapping service in short time. Eventually in future, we will come to see Apple’s own 3D Maps app.
(Reported by Johnny Wills, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)