WWDC: The Apple Maps spy plane, iOS 6, new Macs, no iPhone

By Jonny Evans

Forget the Google cars, the Apple [AAPL] mapping future features planes taking snapshots across the planet in an attempt to build a huge 3D database capable of capturing the smallest objects. And, in other news, what else to expect from WWDC later today.



Breaking news this morning claims Apple has hired a fleet of aircraft to travel above the planet taking accurate images of all its streets and houses. These reports claim Google's up to the same thing, meaning that the 3D mapping services battle between the two tech titans has surely been joined.

The two companies are attempting to create aerial maps for use within their mapping services which are capable of showing objects up to just four inches wide, reports claim. Apple is using military-grade cameras to grab the data it needs in order to fully implement equally powerful technology it originally acquired when it purchased C3 Technology.

Not everyone is happy with the move, civil liberties campaigner, Nick Pickles, noting: "You won't be able to sunbathe in your garden without worrying about an Apple or Google plane buzzing overhead taking pictures."

iOS 6, new Macs

Apple is expected to introduce its new mapping tools as part of iOS 6 at WWDC later on today. That's likely to feature alongside Facebook integration and improvements to its Siri voice assistant technology (which may make the leap to the iPad) and (potentially) the introduction of the Mountain Lion OS for Macs.

The company is also expected to introduce upgrades across its entire range of Macs, including the Mac Pro, MacBook Pro (thinner, with Retina Displays), and a new range of MacBook Airs.

With the iPhone 5 absent from the show, iOS 6 news will likely dominate the occasion. The latter is also likely to see some form of new upgrade for the Apple TV software, likely ushering in some of the notions which will inform the future Apple television, should such a device ever appear.

Be sure to check back later on for further reports from WWDC 2012 which begins with a keynote speech at 10am PST today.

Also read:

WWDC: iPhone in the wings, expect software surprises

Apple WWDC: iOS 6 says farewell to Google Maps

Apple Mountain Lion OS stalks to launch -- free upgrade?

iPhone 5 release: Apple's September launch, what to expect

Apple TV: exec says it's coming 'soon'

Computerworld's WWDC 2012 topic page

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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