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More details, photos leak from Apple’s rumored upcoming Maps refresh

by Phil Hornshaw

Image from BGRRumor has it that Apple is releasing a new version of its Maps app for its iOS platform this year, with a possible announcement at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference. The latest reports even include purported photos from the app and new information about its interface and other features.

According to reports, Apple is re-releasing its Maps app with a key difference from its previous iteration: It won’t include Google. Instead, Apple is ditching Google Maps and reworking the app on its own. Last November, Apple purchased 3-D modeling company C3 Technologies, and at the time it seemed as if that acquisition would be geared toward reworking the Maps app.

In a Boy Genius Report story, it would appear as though that rumor has been borne out. Photos show 3-D maps in the application, as well as new user interface changes. Apparently, popping into a 3-D map while using the app will be as easy as tapping a single button; the only trouble is, we still don’t know how it’ll all look or function once iPhone and iPad owners are actually using the app.

The rest of BGR’s photos are a bit on the blurry and hard-to-read side, although they also point to some color scheme changes to the app and a new navigation bar. There also will be a floating “find me” button, much like what Android users experience in their navigation app, and more controls available when you “peel back” a corner of the map using your finger, exactly like the way the current iOS Maps app functions.

BGR speculates that the switch from standard iOS blue to the use of silver as the dominant color in Apple’s revamped Maps app could also point to some changes in all of iOS 6. It’s a minor thing, but BGR thinks the switch to silver could permeate the entirety of Apple’s next software update, changing the color scheme in all of Apple’s major software features and apps.

The expectation right now is that, like last year, iOS 6 will get a big-stage debut on June 11 at WWDC in San Francisco. If that’s true, the new Maps app – along with a few other app offerings – are likely to come with it.

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