A couple weeks ago we brought you news that Apple was finally preparing to drop Google Maps from iOS in favor of their own in-house 3D maps app. While the app itself would stay largely the same, the backend map data would now be built using technology acquired from the three mapping companies Apple has acquired in the last few years. Rumor has it that the new maps app will involve hyper-realistic 3D maps and be pretty amazing.
Now it looks like those rumors might be true. Photos published by BGR this morning purport to show the new maps app in action. The photos aren’t the best quality, so it’s hard to tell if the new Maps app really is as spectacular as it’s rumored to be. One thing the photos do show, however, is a 3D button. One of the companies acquired by Apple, C3 Technologies, specializes in photorealistic 3D renderings of map data. It looks like Apple might be incorporating those renderings into the new maps app.
Here are the images obtained by BGR. The first is a mockup showing what the app might look like on an iPhone. Below that are the actual images they obtained:
And if you’re interested in a taste of what the 3D maps might look like, here’s a video of C3 Technologies’s photorealistic 3D models in action. This video was created last January, before Apple acquired the company.
Of course, this is all still just a rumor at this point. But there’s a good chance that Apple will unveil iOS 6 at WWDC 2012, which is just around the corner. If they do, we may get to see iOS 6’s new maps in action sooner rather than later.