Apple to rebuild Maps app after staying behind Google Maps for years
Apple has shifted its attention towards Maps service as Google continues to make big strides with Google Maps.
Apple is finally rebuilding its mapping application on iPhones from the ground up with its own dataset. The company, however, is still going ahead with TomTom as one of the data providers for Apple Maps.
Apple did not reveal how its use of TomTom would compare to its previous use, but TomTom shares fell after the news, reported Reuters.
Apple said it is completely rebuilding its Maps app - the most frequently used app on its iPhones - with data gathered by its own fleet of sensor-equipped vans and with anonymous data from iPhone users that choose to share it.
Apple said it will start the rollout this fall with new maps of Northern California, US.
Technology publication TechCrunch reported Apple's mapping effort earlier on Friday. After the story was published, TomTom shares fell as much as 5% session highs before closing the day down 1.7% from the previous day at 7.76 euros.
Maps: Apple's rare failed product
Back in 2012, Apple launched its own Maps service to rival Google Maps. Later with iOS 6 update, Apple removed Google Maps as the default application for navigation. While Google Maps returned to iOS as a standalone application, Apple's native Maps application had a disastrous start.
Not only Apple Maps showed wrong and inaccurate data, the problem became so severe that the authorities had to appeal to users not to depend on the service for navigation. CNNMoneyTech reported that Kennedy Center and Dulles Airport were shown inaccurately and that "its directions to the latter could get a driver arrested and possibly run over by a 747."
The widespread criticism forced CEO Tim Cook to tender apology and ask users to go for the alternative options such as Nokia Maps (now redundant), and Google Maps.
Even as Apple Maps has become a lot better over the years, it still not fully functional in Apple's key markets such as India.
(With inputs from Reuters)
Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.