The unveiling of Apple’s latest operating systems for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, along with its laptop and desktop units (respectively iOS6 and Mountain Lion), has been somewhat overshadowed in mainstream news this week by another announcement from the Californian tech giant. Namely the rejection of the world’s most popular mobile GPS mapping system in favour of its own.
Interestingly the aforementioned new products will all boast significantly improved Facebook integration, which shows a change of heart on the part of Apple, with previous instalments having neglected this aspect, favouring Twitter as the go-to social network of choice (leading some to speculate on growing rivalries between the former two brands). Obviously things are looking a little different in light of the forthcoming software updates, and even iTunes will now host Likes, allowing people to see what music their friends have bought and would recommend whilst shopping at the online store.
In contrast Apple’s own maps service will replace Google’s dominant GPS app as the system of choice for its handsets and tablets, with this new addition to iPads and the like also boasting turn-by-turn guidance, bringing it far closer to a satnav (something that’s also going to be of some concern to Gardin and the like), whilst the feted Siri voice recognition technology will also work within the programme.
It’s the first time since the introduction of the iPhone that Google has been snubbed, and the move will no doubt spark similar activity in the rumour mill as the Facebook-Twitter episode discussed earlier. What’s more important though is the fact that we’re guaranteed to see a mounting rivalry in terms of mapping apps, and increased sophistication on all sides, with Apple and Google already prepared to use military grade kit capable of clearly rendering objects no more than four inches wide, according to reports. Exactly how this will influence the growing concerns over privacy is unclear, but we’re pretty sure it isn’t going to make anyone feel more at ease with this issue. Still, at least they make beautiful computers.