Now that we’ve seen Apple’s and Google’s competing efforts for 3D turn-by-turn mapping for iOS and Android respectively, it appears that Amazon, which relies on the Android base code for its Kindle Fire tablet, will also be entering the 3D mapping market. The online retailer had reportedly acquired mapping startup UpNext, though Amazon has still not confirmed those reports.
The report comes by way of GigaOM. It appears that mapping will become a more proprietary experience on different platforms. Apple will utilize its own in-house solution on iOS 6, Android will rely on Google Maps and Microsoft will rely on Nokia to provide mapping information for Windows Phone.
As Amazon has its own built-in digital ecosystem for its Android-based Kindle Fire tablet, it does not rely on Google’s suite of applications, including Google Maps, Gmail, and other apps. This would allow Amazon to create a more comprehensive mapping solution without forcing customers to rely on third-party apps, like Navigon and TeleNav, in the future.
At this time, the Kindle Fire does not have a GPS radio on-board, but if the reports that Amazon had acquired UpNext are accurate, this does signify that Amazon is looking to roll out more robust tablets and potentially a smartphone in the future to be competitive in the market.
UpNext has maps for 50 U.S. cities and offers enhanced mapping details for 23 of those cities.