Only a couple of days from now, Apple will be making some announcements that will change our mobile landscape pretty significantly. While there is no official information available yet, we are fairly certain the newest generation of iPhone will be announced, as well as the hopeful announcement of the purported iPad mini. What we are almost sure to see is the official release date of Apple’s most updated mobile operating system, iOS 6.0. Although iOS 6 comes with literally hundreds of new features, today we are going to focus on one that will help you in the car, Turn-by-Turn navigation.
During this year’s Worldwide Developer Convention, Apple notoriously announced that it was dumping Google Maps in the upcoming iOS 6. Instead, the company has built an entirely new mapping service from the ground up. Using proprietary cartographic programs, Apple has integrated maps with Yelp to provide local business searches, traffic news to show you the slowdown on roads, as well as pinpointing incident spots and offer real-time iOS user-based updates. Probably the best feature of Apple’s new Maps app is the built-in turn-by-turn navigation system.
Once you’ve searched for and found your destination spot, simply tap the “Quick Route” button and begin driving. Turn-by-turn navigation will give you directions, one at a time, verbally, so you don’t have to keep looking down at your iPad or iPhone.
As you approach a turn, Maps will speak the directions and superimpose large signs and arrows over the map for quick viewing. The map will also turn into a 3D perspective of the road. As you get closer to the turn, the camera angel changes dynamically to show you where to go. If you miss your turn, the app will recalculate and give you new directions.
The app will monitor traffic and update your arrival time based on current conditions. Not only that, but the app will actually begin looking for alternate paths to reroute you around the congestion.
With Siri integration, you can also ask your device questions, like “Where is the nearest gas station?” and you can revise your route to include a quick stop off for a fill up and some road snacks.
The turn-by-turn navigation works from the lock screen, so you don’t have to fiddle with unlocking your device when you want to view the map again.
If you’ve ever used a GPS tracking device like Garmin or TomTom, you’ll understand how impressive this app is. Currently, you can purchase the TomTom U.S.A. app for $49.99 and the Garmin U.S.A. app for the same price. However, Apple’s integrated turn-by-turn navigation system will be included for free with the updated iOS 6. Sure, there is a possibility that Apple will charge for the update to their mobile operating system, but that is highly unlikely. All previous iOS updates have been free. Even if they do charge, it won’t cost more than the newest Mac operating system, Mountain Lion, which only costs $19.99, still significantly lower than either TomTom or Garmin’s app.
Before you decide to spend a pretty penny on a GPS tracking device or app, wait a couple of days to see when iOS 6 will be available and check out Apple’s free mapping service first.