According to various blogs, Apple intends to release iOS 6 to the developer community at WWDC in June. Among other exciting features, iOS 6 is expected to contain Apple designed factory maps application which will replace the Google Maps program running on iOS since 2007. The application interface will be pretty similar to Google Maps but is expected to be much more user-friendly. Other than that it will include Siri APIs and will probably be released together with a totally revamped version if iTunes in the form of version 11.
The built-in maps app will include a 3D functionality which will be analogous to Google Street View except that people are going to use it more often! This can have a significant impact on the revenue Google generates from its mobile Maps application. That’s because Apple is not only going to change the default maps app but will also replace the default hooks in the iOS SDK that currently use Google Maps which is a huge change for the developers.
That’s because most developer base their maps related apps on Google Maps as it comes built in with the iOS and is very easy to integrate. Such a switch could seriously harm Google Maps reputation as the dominant mapping service provider. Even an amateur smartphone user will testify that maps are very important for mobile usage and If Apple manages to take thousands of developer away from Google Maps by pulling it out of the iOS, it will bring Google Maps in a state of conundrum in no time.
Another interesting piece of gossip circulating in the Apple blogosphere involves the inclusion of Siri APIs in the SDK and the possibility of Siri to be finally launched on iPad as well. According to many, this is more of a UI problem then anything else. However the inclusion of Siri APIs in the SDK has the potential to change the perception concerning Siri as nothing more than a novelty app to a really useful app which can pretty much revolutionize the way we interact with the iPhone. Opening Siri to third-party developers will result in the creation of highly advanced interactive apps which would have never been witnessed on any smartphone before.
Other Apple related rumors involve the inclusion of web applications to the iCloud beta website. The beta web portal for iCloud displays two web apps for both Reminders and Notes. What makes this news very interesting to many is that it sort of confirms that the beta release of iOS 6 is just around the corner.