|Apple Maps users in Australia now have access to turn-by-voice navigation. The feature was launched with the update to iOS 6 with the introduction of the controversial new Apple Maps app. However, as is often the case with new iOS software features that require location and point of interest data, the turn-by-voice function initially limited in its roll out. Australians were promised the functionality last month, but it was delayed until its launch today.
The Maps app offers turn-by-turn navigational instructions using the voice of Siri and offers users a 3D view and real-time traffic information. The real-time information includes the ability to adjust the ETA according to the traffic flow, while also offering alternative routes if the traffic is heavy in a particular area on a user’s route. On approach to turns the voice-over activates while the screen morphs into a 3D perspective of the road ahead, helping to better orient users to their surroundings. As can be seen from the screenshots below of Maps working live in Australia, the app also works when the screen is locked and automatically reroutes users if they take a wrong turn.
According to insiders, the birth of the Apple Maps app was not born directly out of Apple’s animosity towards Google’s Android OS, but rather Google’s unwillingness to add turn-by-voice navigational capabilities to the Maps app that was preinstalled on iOS from its inception to the end of iOS 5. However, upon launch, Apple appeared to have underestimated the work needed to deliver a mapping solution as comprehensive as the Google-powered iOS Maps app had delivered. This eventually led to the ouster of Scott Forstall as Apple SVP of iOS.