Optical/IP Networks

Battle of the 3-D Mobile Maps

6:25 PM -- Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has ditched Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Maps in the latest version of its iOS mobile operating system in favor of its own 3-D-capable software, which it announced just days after the search giant upgraded its map app with multi-dimensional views.

Apple announced the upgrade for iOS 6 at its annual conference for developers in San Francisco Monday. The latest mobile software update will arrive this fall. (See Apple iOS 6 Shakes Up Mobile Communications.)

Google, meanwhile, unveiled MapsGL, the "next dimension of Google Maps," last week and posted a video about the 3-D graphic upgrade:

So why the sudden uptick in interest in 3-D mobile mapping now? Basically, the maps really help to put local businesses on the map, literally and figuratively, and that aids both firms in selling more ads.

It's no accident that Apple has linked its mapping app to Yelp Inc. , the user-reviewed online guide that helps people find restaurants and bars they might like.

Technology, like the 3-D views on your mobile phone, is only part of this equation. Increasingly, the map apps are our first source for local knowledge about wherever we happen to be. They've become an important portal for mobile search and localized color rather than the glorified GPS unit they used to be.

The carriers supporting these smartphones on the network will also dig deeper into this location and context-aware shift in mobile in the coming years. Already AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and others are talking about using the knowledge of where the user is and what they are doing to make decisions on billing and when to deliver calls.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:30:37 PM
re: Battle of the 3-D Mobile Maps

A lot of these features, like the spoken turn-by-turn directions are just playing catch-up to Google Maps, but I still think it looks pretty cool (Apple's...and Google's though). Did Apple say anything about an offline mode like Google will have? That seems like an important feature for spotty coverage areas and just to ease congestion on the network.

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:30:34 PM
re: Battle of the 3-D Mobile Maps

This is great -- maybe by 2020, we won't have to look up from our smartphone screens at all.

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:30:33 PM
re: Battle of the 3-D Mobile Maps

Where will the battery be situated?

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:30:33 PM
re: Battle of the 3-D Mobile Maps

Pshaw, by 2020, data will be jacked right into the optic nerve.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:30:31 PM
re: Battle of the 3-D Mobile Maps

Some things about the future are best not to know...

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