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Apple integrates Facebook and ditches Google Maps

We knew it was going to happen, right? Apple has ditched Google Maps for iOS, rolling its own in-house cartographic solution, including turn-by-turn navigation, which has never been as good on the fruit phone as it has on Android.

Apple integrates Facebook and ditches Google Maps

Apple has unveiled its own mapping program, challenging Google for the popular software application and opening up a new front in the war with the maker of the Android operating system.

Apple’s new iOS 6 operating system for the iPhone and iPad includes “an entire new mapping solution from the ground up, and it is beautiful,” Apple’s Scott Forstall told the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday.

“We are doing all the cartography ourselves. We are covering the world,” Forstall said.

Apple has “ingested hundreds of millions of business listings around the world,” he added, and has integrated with the consumer review service Yelp for reviews and ratings.

The Apple maps program included real-time traffic, updated with help from users “to keep traffic info fresh and up to date,” he added.

The move means Apple, which is in a battle against devices powered by Google’s Android operating system, will no longer rely on the Google program for its main maps application.

Apple has ditched Google and turned to GPS navigation stalwarts TomTom for its new mapping service.

The company said at its WWDC keynote announcement on Monday that it would remove Google Maps from its iOS devices when the next major update of its mobile operating system launches in the autumn.

But bloggers quickly noticed that in the software beta the turn-by-turn navigation company TomTom was listed as supplying its mapping data

Now TomTom has confirmed it is running the new service, via its TeleAtlas database.

The company told Engadget it “has signed a global agreement with Apple for maps and related information”, which will include GPS navigation and local search data.

The markets responded, and shares in TomTom jumped 12% in early trading.

However the announcement was not taken well by all on Twitter, some of whom pointed out a worrying deterioration in quality from Google’s service to the new TomTom maps.

As part of the Facebook integration, users can use Apple’s voice recognition tool Siri to update their Facebook status, schedule events from Facebook to their calendar and receive automatic updates of their friends’ activity.

They can also “like” content in the App store and check their friends’ recommendations.

Siri will also now be able to update Twitter, check sports scores and make restaurant reservations.

The new operating system will be available to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users this autumn, when the next version of the iPhone is rumoured to launch.

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