Published May 14, 2012
Here's some interesting new intelligence about iOS 6 from 9to5Mac. According to the site's (trusted) sources, Apple plans to debut an "incredible headline feature" for the next iteration of the mobile OS, which is expected to drop at the World Wide Developers Conference in mid-June: A completely rebuilt in-house Maps application. 9to5Mac says Apple will discard the Google Maps program running on iOS's backend and replace it with a completely new Maps app with an Apple backend -- and they claim the app is a "much cleaner, faster and more reliable experience."
This piece of news actually makes sense. In case you'd forgotten, Apple had previously acquired Placebase, C3 Technologies and Poly9 -- all valuable mapping companies that folks assumed would be put to use so Apple could build their own mapping database. Incidentally, Apple's replacement for Google Street View is said to likely come from C3 Technologies' vastly impressive 3D database.
9to5Mac also says now that the application has been built from the ground up and fully in-house, it is now being called simply "Maps" -- completely doing away with the reference to "Google Maps" because of the backend. Prior to iOS 5, they reported on Apple and Google extending their Maps deal, and now it's seemingly evident when that deal ends.
The final nail in the coffin, according to the site, is a completely new logo for iOS Maps. 9to5Mac claims it is basically a redesigned version of the current iOS Maps icon (with a tiny capture of Apple's 1 Infinite Loop Campus), but slapped with a new color scheme. It looks like we'll just have to wait for WWDC in June to see if this report holds up, but either way it's shaping to be an interesting developers conference indeed.