Google will be sending out an upgrade to Google Maps for Android today. And for reasons surely beyond simple coincidence, the update arrives at the same time iOS 6 begins to roll out to Apple devices.
Apple’s latest version of iOS will introduce Apple’s own mapping system, software developed in-house to compete with Google Maps. It’s the first version of the software to ship without built-in Google Maps or YouTube apps and Apple’s first step towards distancing itself from Google and, by association, Android. The new version of Google Maps for Android adds some new features like syncing between different devices. This particular feature allows you to access directions on your mobile phone even if you searched them on your laptop or desktop. There will no longer be a need to hastily jot down transit stops or remember specific addresses, two things we definitely won’t miss.
We already know a YouTube app will be available for download via the App Store on iOS, but the status of a similar Google Maps app is a bit murkier. The VP of Google Maps, Brian McClendon, wouldn’t discuss Apple’s new map system with The New York Times in a recent interview. However, he did stress the large amount of time and effort needed to perfect mapping software, saying “experience is important.”
McClendon also refused to confirm the inclusion of a Google Maps app in the App Store, but said “we want to make it available for everyone.” The update to Google Maps should be arriving sometime today, so keep your eye out for it.