Is Apple gearing up to launch Google Street View-like feature in iOS 10?


Apple Maps vehicle in New York City

Apple could be preparing to launch its very own Google Street View alternative with iOS 10 as its fleet of mapping vehicles work “around the clock” to collect data and imagery ahead of the Worldwide Developer Conference in June.

Apple-owned mapping vehicles equipped with sensors and cameras have been spotted in New York, Boston, and other U.S. cities in recent weeks.

The photo above, sent into AppleInsider, shows one of those vehicles in New York City after dark. A similar vehicle, with “Apple Maps” printed on one of its windows, can be seen in the tweet below from Matt Karolian of Boston Globe.

On the roof of these vehicles you can see cameras, LiDAR laser measuring technology, highly accurate GPS sensors, and more. This is Apple’s answer to Google’s Street View cars, which we’re all familiar with.

What’s unclear for now is whether the vehicles are gathering imagery and data for a Street View alternative for Apple Maps — as previously rumored — or something else. The vehicles were first spotted on the streets of San Francisco last February, and they’ve been popping up all over the U.S. ever since.

Apple is expected to announce big Maps improvements for iOS 10 when the update gets its first preview at WWDC in June. The service has seen drastic improvements since making its initial debut, and already has an advantage over Google Maps in Flyover. But Apple is yet to match Street View, which is a popular feature among Google Maps users.

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