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The Elephant In The WWDC Room: What's Up With Apple's Maps App In iOS 7?

One of the highlights of last year's WWDC was the introduction of a brand new version Apple's Maps app along with iOS 6. Unfortunately, iOS 6 Maps turned out to be a lowlight for Apple last year as the app was found soon after its release to be riddled with various shortcomings. This year, is Maps' fortune set to change lanes with the updates it's going to get with the launch of iOS 7? Well, we can only hope that it does, as Apple seemed to have treated the subject of its much-maligned Maps app on iOS as though it were the elephant in the WWDC keynote address room. To its credit, Apple may very well have opted to push gradual improvements to its mobile mapping service instead of coming out with a major overhaul. But while it may seem that the company has nothing planned for Maps with the launch of iOS 7, Apple actually has at least three new notable features on the way for the service. As (barely) indicated in one of Apple's keynote address slides above, turn-by-turn walking directions, inclinometer support, and night mode are expected to arrive for Maps on iOS 7. In the next generation of iOS, you can use Maps to navigate to your destination by foot with turn-by-turn directions. You can also take advantage of Maps' inclinometer to ascertain angular tilt while you're out and about. As for Maps' night mode, Apple says in its post-keynote address press release that it "responds to ambient light when you use it in the dark." [caption id="attachment_428058" align="aligncenter" width="642"] The new Maps app icon in iOS 7.[/caption] Oh, and the Maps app icon has also been redesigned in iOS 7 apparently to reflect Apple's forthcoming move from Infinite Loop to the new Campus 2. So far, though, there's no word yet on whether Apple will indeed integrate Foursquare and WiFiSLAM, which it acquired a few months ago, into its Maps app. During its WWDC opening presentation, Apple also announced that Maps, along with iBooks, is set to make the jump to Mac with the launch of OS X 10.9 Mavericks, the new version of Apple's popular desktop operating system.
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