WWDC ’12 is perhaps Apple’s most successful Developers conference, they were sold out in just 1 hour and 43 minutes. The primary reason for attending WWDC is as you’ll be able to attend Apple’s keynote. Since the start of WWDC Apple has always been announcing some of their great products during the live keynote. This year was no different and we saw Apple announcing the new Retina display MacBook Pro, Mountain Lion and iOS 6.
When Scott Forstall took stage, there was a natural huge round of applause since everyone was desperately waiting to hear what is Apple planning to do with their next big release of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system the iOS.
Yeah with the release of iOS 6 (beta) Apple did bring many UI changes, enhancements in various apps and a totally new Passbook app, but what was the major iOS 6 improvement? Well as expected it was the Maps app. Apple released its own Maps app slashing Google maps. So whats great about the Maps app? Let’s see below…
First of all, when you’re out, you frequently zoom in and zoom out of the Maps, to check your exact location. Apparently Google maps was too slow doing this and so there had to be an alternative developed and believe me Apple did just that. Apple’s maps uses vector based technology making the maps beautiful and fast.
Another great feature in the Maps app is the 3 dimensional view. Yes they look beautiful and when in Flyover mode, they look even more beautiful. In Flyover mode you can view the maps in a way as if you are flying over the place (Pro tip: take a screen shot, crop it and upload it to instagram ), the maps rotate around an axis as a satellite does. However I’m highly disappointed that 3D maps don’t work anywhere other than in the US.
Next big thing is Turn-by-Turn navigation. This is awesome since after you set your destination and tap start, Siri’s voice will direct you to your destination. Once in the car, all you have to do is plug in your device (or set it on a stand) and your phone will direct you to your destination. While you’re traveling if you want to know about the traffic in your way, you can do so now by enabling “Show Traffic” and the app will direct you a way around the traffic to help you reach your destination in time.
So what else do we have here? Uh some small features here and there like, Drop Pin and Print map.
Even after all this I have one major complaint with Apple’s maps – no street view. Google maps were perhaps successful only because of their precise street view. Now if you are thinking as to why is this so essential, then picture this scenario in your mind. You have traveled abroad to a city where people don’t speak your language and you don’t know where your hotel or conference place is located, now what will you do? Open maps and search, right. But now since there is no street view you wont be able to tally your location with the surroundings to check if you are headed the right way, you won’t be able to see shops/buildings to co-relate your position, and believe me it becomes very difficult to navigate to the exact location unless you have really high speed Internet on your phone (since it will be real-time then). Also the Maps app does not really work in countries outside the US, the map sometimes wont even locate the place you are searching let alone direct you there, which is kind of a bummer since I can’t find my way back home if I get lost somewhere. :/
Some images from the Maps app:
So that’s an overview of what the Maps app has in store for you in iOS 6. Remember this is still the first beta, so we do not know if any new enhancements or features will be added in the future. Till then let us know what you think about the new Maps app.
Oh by the way did I mention that I did this post via Mountain Lion’s Dictation feature?Stay tuned with us for more breaking news. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and check out our RSS for quick reference.