There is no doubt that the most successful operating systems that are chuckling over success are iOS and Android. Apple has sold in the last 5 years more than 250 million iPhones and Google is activating around 1 million Android gadgets every day.
There were many rumors wondering around about the announcement of iOS 6 at WWDC and Apple was expected to ditch Google Maps for coming with its own 3D maps creation. Rumors were confirmed at San Francisco during the keynote presentation at WWDC this month. San Francisco was also the place chosen by Google to announce its new version of Google Earth 7.0 that comes with 3D maps for Android smartphones and tablets. It seems that the two operating systems, iOS and Android have been in competition and are likely to remain this way for a long time.
Both iOS 6 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean offer 3D maps, Apple users being able to put their hands on the feature this fall, until then the Beta version is available for Developers. The question is which of the two offer better and accurate solutions? Although Apple is new in the mapping domain, they have an impressive fame for coming with brand-new technology that dazzles everyone.
iPhoneItalia has come with pictures that compare the two Maps in the two different systems. The Apple maps offer a 3D button that is set at the button of the display, as for the Android, they are available via Google Earth app and it can be launched by taping on the layers button and then selecting “3D Buildings” for getting the 3D perspective. Things may get even better for the iOS version of maps due to the fact that it is still a beta version and the original version will be released this fall, maybe with the latest generation of iPhone.
Just as rumors state, Apple is keen on releasing its own personal 3D mapping service that is meant to replace Google Maps.
Statistics highlight the fact that the number of smartphone users that use Maps are increasing each day. For example, in March 2012, 39.8 million (35 percent) of smartphone users in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom accessed maps from their gadgets, while 49.6 percent flicked through maps from their computer. It is a 55 percent rise from the statistics of last year in what concerns mapping sites, UK being the number one country with smartphone users that use Maps (40.2).
Also, it’s stated that although there were more Google Android maps (17.67 million) only 39.8 percent of smartphone users went for the app. iPhone users use Maps apps more than Android ones because in March 2012, 53.4 percent of iPhone users visited mapping sites.
The WWDC event is quite close and it’s predicted that Apple will come with a bunch of new releases that would definitely appeal to the public. A new Map app is also on the list, but it only remains to wait and by enlightened by their features.
Apart from expected features like Siri API, Facebook Integration, advanced Multitasking, Clearing Notifications, Apple is rumored to be planning an exclusive in-house map app. Google Maps software that is running on iOS since 2007 will no longer be of service for Apple because a brand new Maps app featuring an Apple background will rock the market.
Although the existing iOS maps have had a great success, the backend still belongs to Google and Apple wishes to change that. This will be possible thanks to Apple purchase of Placebase (2009), Poly9 (the Canadian online mapping firm purchased in 2010) and C3 Technologies (company dealing with advanced 3D maps that use technology created for missile guidance systems, purchased quite recently). When the iOS 5 was launched, the two big companies, namely Apple and Google had extended their Map convention so the launch of iOS 6 may break the terms between the two.
Image created with C3 Technology's algorithms
As for the icon, it’s rumored to be a redesigned version of iOS Maps logo, a different color scheme with a picture of One Infinite Loop. Possessing 3 years of purchased mapping startups, it is a clear sign that the Apple Company didn’t want to hurry things and take all the needed time for improving details. The 3D feature would be powered by C3 Technologies that would replace Google’s satellite view and Maps Street View.
9to5 Mac describes the features of C3 Technologies:
C3 Technologies is the leading provider of 3D mapping solutions, offering photo-realistic models of the world for search, navigation and geographic information systems. Since 2007 when it was spun out of the aerospace and defence company Saab AB, venture-backed C3 has redefined mapping by applying previously classified image processing technology to the development of 3D maps as a platform for new social and commercial applications.
The SXSW festival brought into the open innovative and creative new ideas; one of them is the Vibe case, a project of the 3D printing company Shapeways.
With this case, Shapeways mixes up SoundCloud with a 3D print. Vibe uses the SoundCloud API in order to make you iPhone reflect your favorite track. It is a custom case, available on black and white, which can be personalized on-demand with the beat of a song you enjoy, printed in 3D.
It may be just a custom case, but it is strong and flexible and fits not only your iPhone without changing the Apple look, but also your style. You can get your own for $24.99, but first you need to connect with your SoundCloud account to Shapeways and decide on a vibes area of a track you like most and which you want printed on the Vibe case.
The days till people will get to see the third generation iPad are diminishing, increasing at the same time all the tension that revolves round this event. The greatest curiosity that wanders all over the world questions the design of the iPad 3, which of late is rumored to be named iPad HD.
Aatama Studio recently developed an astonishing iPad 3 concept that features edge-to-edge retina display, NFC (Near Field Communication) technology backed by internal magnets and 3D multiplayer hologram.
The iPad 3 as designed by Aatama Studio is really thin, looking almost fragile, but fragile things are also valuable. There’s no doubt that the edge-to-edge screen rends the elegance of this tablet to its maximum, but it might also have some glitches; an accidental touch on one of the edges might interfere with your activity. A multi-touch capability should banish such fears.
Due to the NFC and to the internal magnets one can bring two iPads together, taking the tablet experience to the next level. You can watch movies in HD or play your favorite game. Moreover, the holographic 3D display can increase the gaming area and can throw you more into the game.
Getting back to reality, I wonder if this concept gave Apple some ideas. Judging after the manufacturing rumors, I believe it hadn’t. And I also wonder whether it manages to steady the freeze or on the contrary, it pours more gas on the flames.
When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone in 2007 he was certain of his success:
“Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. One is very fortunate if you get to work on just one of these in your career. Apple has been very fortunate that it’s been able to introduce a few of these into the world. In 1984 we introduced the Macintosh. It didn’t just change Apple, it changed the whole industry.In 2001 we introduced the first iPod, and it didn’t just change the way we all listened to music, it changed the entire music industry,” Jobs said.
Today, Apple has a new vision and wants to keep surprising his users so rumors are running loose that a 3D user Interface for iPhones is to be launched in the future. The iPhone would concentare on motion controls and less on touchscreen. Just picture all kind of icons floating on the screen and bumping on the screen everytime a message is received.
The 3 D feature may bring success but it may very well not come up at market’s expectations, just as AppleInsider claims:
“Due to the limited size of the typical display on a mobile device, a 3D GUI can be difficult to navigate using conventional means, such as a finger or stylus,” the filing reads.”For example, to view different perspectives of the 3D GUI, two hands are often needed:one hand to hold the mobile device and the other hand to manipulate the GUI into a new 3D perspective.”