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Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 10:55 pm PT (01:55 am ET)

Apple iOS 6 GM brings improvements to Maps app, adds Flyover for New York and others

With less than one week to go before Apple unleashes iOS 6 to the public, the company seeded the mobile operating system's golden master to developers, showing slight tweaks and performance enhancements to its first-party Maps app.

Maps NY

Flyover of New York City. | Source: Apple


According to people familiar with the progression of Maps in iOS 6, the recently-seeded GM has brought a number of changes to Apple's first in-house mapping app including Flyover support for new cities like New York and Rome. The most recent version of Maps introduced Flyover data for a number of major international metropolitan cities, however New York was omitted for unknown reasons.

A major feature that sets Maps apart from rival products is its use of custom algorithms to fill in Flyover details like shrubbery and trees. The iOS 6 GM brings further improvements in this area, as zoomed images reveal smoother borders around foliage and advanced rendering that gives the appearance of "leaf-level" detail.

Maps Detail

Shrubbery and tree rendering.


Unlike Google Maps' StreetView, which blurs out license plates and faces, Apple looks to be employing an automated masking system that will leave only a "ghost image" of vehicles behind.

Maps

Automated car removal.


Finally, a small tweak to the UI comes in the "cityscape" icon, which takes the place of the "3D" asset when viewing areas that have Flyover data. The app also said to feel more sprightly than previous builds and more detail is apparent on certain rendered structures.

Apple's Maps app will roll out as part of iOS 6 on Sept. 19.