Apple has officially ditched Google Maps. When the company releases iOS 6 this fall, the latest iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices will come standard with Apple Maps. And instead of Zagat ratings and Google’s user reviews, Apple Maps will be integrated with Yelp, a popular social network for rating local businesses. If the new map doesn’t work out, at least you’ll know where to send your complaints.
Apple announced the Maps feature at its annual WWDC conference earlier in June.
A preview of the tool shows a local business finder. You can tap on a location to pull up a phone number, address, website, and pictures. It’s very similar to what Google Maps already has, but it comes with the brutally honest reviews and ratings from Yelp, which read like brief food memoirs, complete with personal backstories.
When Bloomberg’s reporters took a look at the Apple developer kit, they also saw what looked like check-ins in some of the screenshots. With this feature, users would be able to share where they’ve been with friends and get deals from merchants for checking in. Bloomberg contacted representatives from both Yelp and Apple, both of whom declined to comment on the integration.
With the addition of Maps, Apple is challenging Google at something it does extremely well. In addition to local search, Apple’s maps will also include turn-by-turn navigation, traffic updates, voice-activated personal assistant Siri, and an interactive 3D “flyover” feature, all of which would either match or augment existing Google Maps tools. Yelp is a nice addition, but seriously, let’s hope those maps are accurate and easy to load.