I don't think I'll find much resistance for saying that Google Maps offers the best map interface for any device you happen to be using. Well, if that device is an iPhone, with the next release of iOS you may found yourself using a map app by Apple, not Google. Can Apple offer something better?
If you're just hearing about this for the first time, it may come off as Apple being petty, ditching a competitor's platform for a lesser option. What's going on here is that Apple has actually been ramping up for this move for a while, and it's seen as inevitable.
There's this from PCWorld's Jared Newman:
Apple's desire to oust Google Maps from the iPhone is no secret. Apple has acquired several mapping companies over the years, including C3, Placebase and Poly9, and the iOS version of iPhoto uses Open Street Maps instead of Google Maps outside the United States.
C3, which Apple snatched up last year, has some pretty impressive 3D modeling chops. See for yourself:
Apple has used Google Maps since the iPhone first launched in 2007. Next to email and messaging, it's definitely a key feature for any smartphone, and to have not replaced it with a proprietary Apple offering speaks to Google Maps' superior design. It sounds like Apple is finally ready, though, or getting close: rumor has it iOS 6 is when Apple will send Google Maps on its way.
From 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman:
According to trusted sources, Apple has an incredible headline feature in development for iOS 6: a completely in-house maps application. Apple will drop the Google Maps program running on iOS since 2007 in favor for a new Maps app with an Apple backend. The application design is said to be fairly similar to the current Google Maps program on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, but it is described as a much cleaner, faster, and more reliable experience.
Google Maps is definitely my go-to, but I'm curious to see what Apple will be able to whip up with the impressive portfolio of technology it's bringing together.