iDevice owners who were left disappointed with Apple's foray into mobile mapping may be pleased to hear that rumors of a Google Maps app for iOS are still in style. An anonymous source "with direct knowledge of the matter" has informed the Wall Street Journal that the big G is putting the "finishing touches" on its own native iOS entry. It remains unclear when Google will submit the app for Apple's review, however.
Apple's abrupt removal of its Google-based Maps in favor of its own in-house solution produced a great deal of can-kicking amongst mobile navigators. At the heart of this collective disappointment were the absence of Street View, seemingly incomplete data and Apple Maps' quirky behavior.
When iOS 6 hit shelves, YouTube and Apple's long-time, Google-powered Maps app went conspicuously missing. Purportedly, the reason Apple jettisoned Google from iOS was their inability to reach a deal in regards to the integration of Google's voice-based, turn-by-turn directions in iOS. Google introduced that technology on Android a couple of years ago and Apple wanted it -- but they couldn't see eye to eye on a mutually beneficial exchange.
After negotiations broke down, Apple -- in seemingly Apple fashion -- took matters into their own hands and began developing their own mapping solution. The iMaker snapped up several mapping companies and pushed out their labor's fruit almost an entire year before their contract with Google expired. The result? A seemingly hastily-done, occasionally cantankerous but mostly usable Maps app with a few unfortunate shortcomings -- problems that Apple CEO Tim Cook personally apologized for and said will be improved with future updates.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
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