SAN FRANCISCO - Apple has unveiled its own mapping program, challenging Google for the popular software application and opening up a new front in the war with the maker of the Android operating system.
Apple's new iOS 6 operating system for the iPhone and iPad includes "an entire new mapping solution from the ground up, and it is beautiful," Apple's Scott Forstall told the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday.
"We are doing all the cartography ourselves. We are covering the world," Forstall said.
Apple has "ingested hundreds of millions of business listings around the world," he added, and has integrated with the consumer review service Yelp for reviews and ratings.
The Apple maps program included real-time traffic, updated with help from users "to keep traffic info fresh and up to date," he added.
The move means Apple, which is in a battle against devices powered by Google's Android operating system, will no longer rely on the Google program for its main maps application. Apple has been in an intense legal battle with makers of Android devices, contending the open-source software infringes on patents from the iPhone and its operating system.
Although maps does little to generate revenues directly, it often links to searches for products and services such as restaurants or businesses.
Analysts say the Apple maps program could, over time, move iPhone and iPad users away from Google search and reduce revenues for the search giant.
Apple said its iOS 6 would be in devices shipped in the coming months that would also include the Siri personal assistant, which performs many of the search functions of Google.
"Siri has been out only eight months," Forstall said.