Well, we didn’t get terrain view … at least not yet. But the upcoming iPhone software update did provide some potentially exciting news for those who like to take their Jesus Phones onto the trail with them … although we’ll have to rely on other developers to do the heavy lifting.
Up until now, applications on the iPhone could not directly access the Google Maps application. You could get a snapshot of a map, but then you’d have to close down the program you were using to open up Google Maps. With OS 3, developers will now be able to fully integrate Google Maps into their apps, which means we can eventually be able to provide a link to a Google Map destination via instant message or program, and potentially even provide turn-by-turn GPS driving directions to the location. Presumably, as their are other apps that already handle GPX files, those apps can now also overlay those tracks on top of a Google Map — which would potentially make them a bit more useful.
Of course, you still have the problems of taking your precious iPhone into the wilderness with you, and dealing with AT&T’s spotty data service for any maps, but the potential is there.
The new OS will launch in the summer, but developers should already be getting their hands dirty with the dev kits. Hopefully we’ll get some good stuff out of ’em again!
Tags: gadgets, google maps, Hiking, iphone, iphone firmware