Apple unveiled iOS 6 on the Global Developer Convention (WWDC) the previous day. The most recent model of Apple's running machine won’t turn out to be on hand except later within the yr however can be supported through all iOS gadgets launched after 2009, together with the iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S & 5 as well as the iPod Touch and various incarnations of the iPad. Interestingly, many of the features demonstrated at WWDC seem to be designed hit Google where it hurts.
Apple and Google have been fiercely competing for domination of the smartphone industry in recent years, with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs declaring "thermonuclear war" on Google for "ripping off" iOS with the Android operating system. While the last several months have seen numerous patent disputes between Apple and major Android manufacturers including Samsung, Motorola and HTC, this latest move suggests that Apple wishes to remove any benefit Google receives from iOS.
Firstly, Apple has plans to drop support for Google Maps on iOS and replace it with its own Maps app. Apple has gone to great lengths to try and outdo Google with its Maps app by including 3D buildings for major cities, turn by turn navigation and voice control support by integrating the app with Siri. The app will also include real-time traffic updates by crowdsourcing data from iOS users. While Google Maps will be removed from iOS as a native app it is possible that Apple will also pull it from the App Store on the grounds of "duplicating existing functionality".
No Tracking in Safari
While the removal of Google Maps has been the most publicised change on iOS 6 it will perhaps not hurt Google as much as some of the other updates, such as plans to incorporate "Do Not Track" functionality into its MobileSafari browser. Google relies on monitoring people's browsing history to target higher revenue driving adverts through its web services, and for a company that generates most of its profits from advertising this is a big deal. While Google includes adverts on Android it has been estimated that 80% of its mobile advertising revenue comes from iOS users.
But perhaps the biggest news is Apple's decision to bury the hatchet with Google's main competitor in the online advertising business: Facebook. While Apple had included Twitter integration on iOS 5, it had been in the midst of an icy dispute with Facebook regarding Ping and so had not included extensive Facebook support in earlier updates
Facebook integration on iOS 6 will allow iPhone users to post to Facebook from within apps, 'like' apps and see which apps their Facebook friends like. The new integration will also add Facebook contacts, events and birthdays into the iOS calendar and contacts. Facebook will also be integrated with Apple's new Maps app, allowing users to post their current location directly to Facebook.
These latest updates to iOS are likely to deepen the rift between Apple and Google and be a cause of great concern for the internet search giant. In the end though, it will be iPhone users who stand to benefit, with improved mapping and navigation features as well as deeper integration with the world's most popular social network. These new features will be available to all iPhones after the 3GS but will be best experienced on the upcoming iPhone 5, which is expected to be released shortly after the final version of iOS 6 in September.
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