Apple may be looking at porting the mobile Maps app for iOS 6 to its desktop OS X operating system in the future. A recently discovered code dump by Technically Personal reveals that there are lines of codes with references to Intel graphics chipsets that are found on Mac hardware, suggesting that Apple may bring its in-house Maps app to the desktop.
Right now, desktop users on Mac and Windows PC systems do not have a quick and easy native solution to access maps and directions. Rather, users must navigate to the browser to their favorite mapping service–like Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Mapquest, or others–to explore locations and route their destinations. Apple may be trying to replicate the ease of launching a mapping app and getting directions on a mobile device on a desktop platform.
With iOS 6, Apple had developed its own mapping solution and is no longer relying on Google to provide mapping data for its apps. Through a series of acquisitions of location and mapping companies in recent years, Apple is integrating 3D mapping along with voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation through Siri. The new Maps app also integrates crows-sourced traffic data and reviews from Yelp.
It’s still unclear how an OS X Maps app will affect Google over the long run. Likely, Google will be deprived of user’s searches for business information, location, and directions to serve ads to OS X users if Apple’s strategy is successful. It’s unclear if Apple will leverage a speculated OS X Maps app to deliver ads via its iAd platform.