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I’ve used Maps since day one, and it’s decent. Consumer Reports even rated the app as competent. The blogosphere works by aping popular articles. A few complaints about Maps went viral, and the monkey-see-monkey-do behavior ensued. People who hadn’t even used the app were commenting on how bad it was. Trolls who never even owned an Apple product, enrolled on their support forum and complained about a product they never used. Despite the defamatory hype, expect Maps to get much better with iOS 7.
A few months ago, Apple acquired WiFiSlam — a company that develops indoor location technology. Expect this to be folded into iOS 7. In addition to augmenting the functionality of location services features like geofences, this will likely be integrated into Maps. If you’re lost inside an airport, shopping mall, museum, large stadium, or other indoor location, you will be able to use Maps to find your way. I also expect this to enhance experiences such as shopping. Perhaps if you are looking for a certain item, an app can inform you as to which store has it, as well as the price. Expect uniformed negativity about any improvement in Maps. It’s more cheap blogosphere tricks to get increases in page views, ad impressions, and ad clicks.
Apple will not exploit every new feature in iOS 7 themselves. The new operating system will contain new APIs (application programming interfaces) for third-party developers. Apple doesn’t always make the best apps. They do create the best APIs. No other mobile operating system has rich APIs like iOS. Take, for example, the plethora of pro-quality audio/video creation apps or high-end video games. Other mobile platforms have loosely coupled hardware and software. There are problems with audio latency and lags in the user interface. Apple has always been the leader in enabling cutting-edge app development with high performance APIs. iOS 7 will continue providing rich APIs for developers to create the best mobile apps. Expect a new generation of mind-blowing apps.
This article is speculation. I could very well be wrong. I just couldn’t bear writing yet another “iOS 7 will be black, white, and flat” article. It seems few tech writers have bothered to do any basic research. An examination of recent acquisitions is the best bet as to what iOS 7 will offer. There will likely be UI simplifications, but don’t expect it to look like an episode of “Leave It To Beaver”.