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Wednesday, March 07, 2012, 02:49 pm PT (05:49 pm ET)

iPhoto for iOS links weather, location info to photos but doesn't use Google maps [u]

Apple's new iPhoto app for iPhone and iPad (models with a camera) offers new location and weather information for photos, and uses a new style of maps different from Google's conventional mapping service.

Apple has supported geotagging the location of photos taken by iOS devices for some time, but the new interface appears to indicate that photo apps will now be able to associate current weather conditions with a photo when it is taken.

The new iPhoto app works like a souped up version of the bundled Photos app, which already allows users to locate where a photo was taken, placing it on the map using maps from Google.

iPhoto presents a fancier, animated interface with stronger editing features, including the ability to copy adjustments made to one image and paste them to another.

iPhoto now offers to turn off including photo location on images when saving or sharing, and also allows users to turn off location lookup, which it notes is "for photo info, maps and weather." When initially accessing photos, the app asks permission to use the location-based information tagged on them.



Also of note is the fact that Apple's new iPhoto doesn't use Google Maps to pinpoint the location of photos anymore. Instead, it uses a different style of map that isn't credited to anyone, suggesting that Apple is releasing the first of its own internal mapping services. The new maps also provide less zoom control and detail.



The company has acquired a number of mapping services, and has long been expected to move to its own mapping system to avoid its dependance upon Google, a move that appeared to intensify after Google began competing with Apple using Android software.

Last fall, Google said it would begin charging major partners who serve up more than 25,000 uses per day of the Google Maps application programming interface service, starting this year. Apple's scaled down maps may be intended to use a cheaper or alternative version of the maps Google serves.

John Gruber stated that Apple representatives told him that the company was still using Google data for mapping in the new iOS iPhoto app.