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Wednesday, February 06, 2013, 10:32 am PT (01:32 pm ET)

Apple's first beta of iOS 6.1.1 aims to strengthen Maps in Japan

Apple on Wednesday released the first beta of iOS 6.1.1 with a clear focus on improving its much-criticized Maps application, specifically in regards to turn-by-turn navigation in Japan.

iOS Maps


In a note to developers accommodating the release, Apple said iOS 6.1.1 beta 1 includes the following improvements to Maps for Japan:
  • Improved pronunciation of roads during turn-by-turn navigation

  • Optimized directions to more strongly prefer highways over narrower roads
  • Now indicates upcoming toll roads during turn-by-turn navigation

  • Added labels for junctions, interchanges, on-ramps, off-ramps, and intersections

  • Added indicators for transit station buildings, subway lines, and traffic lights

  • Updated freeway color to green

  • Updated icons for some location categories including fire stations, hospitals, and post offices Added 3D buildings including Tokyo Station, Japan Imperial Palace, and Tokyo Tower

The move comes as Apple is looking to strengthen its presence in Asia, where revenue has been on the double digit rise, particularly in China and Japan, which were up 67% and 25% year-over-year, respectively, during the company's most recent December quarter.

Wednesday beta of iOS 6.1.1 carries build number 10B311 and is available for the iPad 2 and greater, iPhone 3S and greater, iPod touch 4th-gen and greater, and the iPad mini.