Although Apple and Google signed a deal to extend the use of Google Maps in iOS, the Cupertino, Calif.-headquartered Company has not overhauled the iOS mapping experience (yet). For those who grew tired of waiting, a company called UpNext partnered with Verizon Wireless on a cool mapping project that brings 3D awesomeness to your iPad and Android tablets. The app is called ‘UpNext HD Maps” and it covers the entire United States, sporting over 20 enhanced 3D cities.

These include New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, and Austin, with more cities coming soon. Other features include local search and discovery, venue reviews; deal finder, the ability to visualize your social and location graphs with Foursquare and pre-cached offline mode. You can see it in action in the clip above. Head over to the App Store and grab your free copy now.

The app builds on UpNext’s older mapping app for the iPhone and iPad called “UpNext 3D Cities,” also available as a free download on the App Store. While UpNext 3D Cities require you to download each city’s 3D content in-app, the new app loads content on demand and is much more prettified. Clarity and crispness of the graphics engine has been enhanced dramatically. As a result, UpNext 3D Cities feels like a complete mapping solution akin to Google Maps with Navigation for Android. UpNext was founded in 2007 with the goal of providing a better way to explore and discover big cities. According to UpNext CEO Danny Moon, its solution improves on Android’s mapping experience on both platforms with credible metadata and snazzier graphics:

Google launched Google Maps 5 for Android last year. We are bringing the same vector based goodness to iOS, but with more beautiful cartography, faster rendering, and fluid search with our innovative search results system. Our cities are fully textured, our roadways carved in full 3D with overpasses and tunnels and our buildings are all tappable. 

Its technology has also been used in the video game industry to create immersive 3D maps. It is definitely worth checking out to get a feel of what an Apple-redesigned Maps experience might be like down the road. As you already know, Apple is looking to take iOS Maps to the next level. The company’s effort to rethink what navigation and mapping should be like stems from three related acquisitions: C3 Technologies, Poly9, and Placebase.


UpNext HD Maps

Maps redefined. Fully searchable,tappable, beautiful maps for the entire United States. 50+ cities rendered in 3D, with 23 enhanced with even richer detail.


Interactive & Rich 3D Maps – Explore cities* using fast, seamless 3D maps. UpNext™ HD Maps takes mapping to the next level with rich visual detail and an interactive touch interface for search.

Local Search & Discovery – Discover what’s up next in your city! Search for nightlife, dining, shopping, recreation and more. Tap on buildings to see businesses and venues inside.

Venue Reviews – read Yelp reviews about a restaurant or other venues

Deal Finder – Discover deals from nearby restaurants and shops, hotels, and on your favorite brands. Save deals to your Deal Wallet for later retrieval and use.

Social – Visualize your social & location graphs with Foursquare. See where your Foursquare Friends have checked in and what places are trending.

Offline mode – recent map areas (pre-cached) on your device you can still use the app without wireless connectivity.

* Enhanced 3D cities coverage- Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Honolulu, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Paul, Washington DC

This app was developed by UpNext Inc and Verizon Wireless.

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