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Apple Announces New Maps Feature, Taking on Google

Apple made international headlines this week with the announcement of its own mobile Maps service, taking on Google’s dominating Google Maps feature.

The service, which will launch as part of Apple’s iOS 6 upgrade this fall, represents Apple’s efforts to keep users within its ecosystem as its iPhone – which currently comes preloaded with Google Maps – rivals Google’s Android devices. The result of years of development, Apple’s Maps feature will replace Google Maps on the iPhone and iPad. The change represents a major blow to Google, which receives about half of its maps traffic from Apple mobile devices.

Apple’s new mapping service creates an entirely new platform for local businesses, many of which are listed on Google Maps. Apple is already integrating information from about 100 million businesses into its mapping service and relying on Yelp for reviews and ratings, according to PCWorld.com. Apple’s announcement comes just weeks after Google transitioned its Places business listings service to Google+ Local.

The new Apple maps service will provide users with 3D images of cities called “Flyover,” along with real-time traffic updates and turn-by-turn navigation, according to Reuters. In fact, iPhone and iPad users will be able to consult Siri to ask for directions.

We’ll keep our eye on this major development and its impact on the mobile local search space.

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