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Speculation about whether Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be strategically trying to end Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) hold on mobile navigation software was put to an end earlier this week during a preview of iOS 6 at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. During the keynote on the first day of the conference, company senior vice president for iOS software, Scott Forstall, announced a new in-house maps app ready to take on Google Maps.
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The maps app, which had been one of the most anticipated new iOS features, includes realistic 3D imagery that Forstall called “gorgeous.” Apple had bought C3 Technologies, which owns military grade mapping technology. One feature of the app is called Flyover, which simulates flying in helicopters and planes, but allows the user to direct the view with full 360-degree angles.
The app includes turn-by-turn navigation, is programmed to find the fastest route, and is integrated with Siri. Apple will also build a traffic service with incident reports that uses anonymous crowd-sourced data. The company added that it had already taken in 100 million business listings from around the world and will integrate Yelp (NYSE:YELP) listings, which means Siri can help you choose a restaurant, and then help you find it, all with a simple question.
Navigation is big revenue business. Mobile ads related to maps or locations will make up 25 percent of the $2.5 billion mobile ad market in 2012, according to Opus Research, up from 10 percent in 2010.
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