Apple has deciced to use a new company’s internal mapping solution for their new iPhoto app for iOS instead of Google’s. Why is this a big deal you ask? Because Apple has been using Google Maps for almost all of their devices for the past 5 years.
So who are they using? We now know that Apple is using an open-source map company called OpenStreetMap for their new iPhoto app for iOS. This information was confirmed yesterday in a post titled “Welcome Apple” on the OpenStreetMap Foundation’s blog.
“Yesterday Apple launched iPhoto, its photo management app, for the iPad and iPhone… and we’re rather pleased to find they’re the latest to switch to OpenStreetMap. The desktop version of iPhoto, and indeed all of Apple’s iOS apps until now, use Google Maps. The new iPhoto for iOS, however, uses Apple’s own map tiles — made from OpenStreetMap data (outside the US)…
…The OSM data that Apple is using is rather old (start of April 2010) so don’t expect to see your latest and greatest updates on there. It’s also mussing the necessary credit to OpenStreetMap’s contributors; we look forward to working with Apple to get that on there.”
The question that comes to mind is why is Apple using a different service than Google maps? Are they that hell bent on separating themselves from Google? And if they are why wouldn’t they have used one of the mapping companies they purchased (Placebase, Poly9, C3 Technologies) over the last two years. Any of those are better alternatives than OpenStreetMap.
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Word is that Apple is working on their own internal mapping software so they can separate themselves from Google for good.