October 30, 2012
Apple was recently awarded a patent for the original Maps design for iOS. You know, the design that beginning with iOS 6 is no longer installed on the iPhone/iPod touch. According to AppleInsider, Cupertino was awarded with U.S. Patent No. 8,302,033 for a “touch screen device, method, and graphic user interface for providing maps, directions, and location-based information.” This, of course, is the backbone UI for the Maps app. While this patent still technically covers some of the features that were carried over to iOS 6 Maps, many are no longer available.
While many of the patent's assets are still used in the most recent iOS Maps version, some have been tweaked as Apple ended its contract with Google Maps to create its own standalone mapping service. Despite being met with criticism for drastically changing the underlying data set, the new appuses many of the GUI assets first outlined in the '033 patent over four years ago.Beginning with iOS 6, Maps no longer includes Google Maps behind the scenes. Instead, Apple created an in-house product - one that has been highly criticized. Interesting, huh? For more information on iOS 6 Maps, see Improving Apple's Maps Program Isn't As Simple As Convincing Customers To Use It, Apple Removes An Unofficial Google-Powered Maps Application From The App Store, and Apple Speaks Out About Buggy iOS 6 Maps App.