Apple has announced their new Maps application as part of iOS 6. Peter Batty has given a very interesting assessment of what's there and what isn't, compared to Google, and what the future looks like for Apple iOS users.
Overall Peter was impressed with what Apple has done with the new Maps application. The basic 2D map functionality uses vector graphics so it allows for very smooth zooming and rotating. He said the big thing it is missing is Street View. For you folks like myself who take public transit whenever possible, Apple is not providing transit directions. They are being left to third parties so it is not clear at this point how that will happen. Peter sees search for points of interest has added some nice features like Yelp and OpenTable integration, and turn by turn directions with voice guidance. He also mentions that Siri integration (voice commands) is a huge plus for existing iPhone users.
Late last year Apple acquired C3, a Swedish company that had developed 3D technology for viewing entire cities. Apple has added 3D city maps based on C3 technology that "looked cool as everyone expected." But apparently Apple's pitch is that the 3D technology is a cool extra rather than the main substance. Peter found that the 3D buildings "definitely have a wow factor and performance is very good." Based on the demo Peter saw the cities for which Apple appears to provide data are
Peter's forecast is that "the great majority of the 250 million or so iPhone users will switch to using Apple Maps when iOS 6 comes out", meaning that they will switch from Google Maps. He speculates that if Google continues to offer Google Maps on the iPhone, they will have to provide the same features as the Android version, in particular the turn by turn navigation features.
Peter has upgraded to iOS6 beta and is providing his assessment of his experience with the new Apple Maps application on his Geothought blog.