Just a few weeks back, 9to5Mac reported that Apple would most likely be replacing Google Maps with the company's own in-house 3D-equipped maps program for its upcoming iOS 6 -- and now there might be pictures to prove it.

Tech news site Boy Genius Report has obtained exclusive photos supposedly showing (blurry) bits and pieces of Apple's new iOS 6 Maps application running on an iDevice. The pictures could also just be super close-up shots of a Google Images search for "maps" -- it's hard to say from the bits and pieces pictured in BGR's slideshow.

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apple maps app
apple maps app

See the rest here.

In addition, the site provided a mockup of the Maps app, which shows off an updated user interface, new navigation bar and a peel-back function that turns on the app's 3D mode. (Read the rest of Boy Genius Report's findings here.)

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apple maps app

As Apple Insider points out, Apple has long been making moves to seriously beef up its map offerings: Since 2009 the company has acquired Google Maps competitor Placebase, mapping company Poly9 and, most recently, C3 Technologies, which specializes in 3D mapping.

It's not inconceivable to imagine Apple moving away from Google Maps. In March, Apple began using OpenStreetMap with its iOS iPhoto app in place of Google Maps, not long after Google began charging businesses for access to its digital mapping services last October.

In addition, Apple Insider notes that the BGR illustrations allegedly showing Apple's iOS 6 Maps app look a lot like those provided by OpenStreetMap, an open mapping service offered by the OpenStreetMap Foundation.

According to All Things D, it's highly likely the world will get a better look at Apple's new Maps app during the keynote speech of the 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference, which is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. PT on Monday, June 11.

What do you think of Apple's upcoming Maps app? What could Google Maps on the iPhone do better?

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