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Apple has incorporated new search API in the company's Map Kit. This facilitates the developers to offer addresses based on the map as well as POI (points of interest) via Apple map servers. The API is available in Map Kit Framework of Apple. This indicates that developers can make local search maps in the Apple Maps.
This offering from Apple is very similar to Goggle Places API provided by Google for developers. Similar APIs are provided by other players like Foursquare and OpenStreetMaps. Before the introduction of iOS 6 operating system, iOS devices utilized Google Maps as default maps.
This meant that developers had the option of integrating Google Places API in their Google Maps app. This enabled them to return points of interest and location search results. Google Places API could be used only along with Google Tiles. This underwent a change ever since iOS 6 was released and Apple incorporated the company's own map set.
Developers could no longer work on Google Places API and subsequently turned to other providers.
It looks as though Apple is back in the game by focusing on the mapping and location solutions. The company seems to aim at drawing developers to its own platform by ensuring that they have ample opportunities to build apps for iOS.
However, at this point in time, Nokia and Google both have a gaping lead over Apple when it comes to mapping solutions. Nevertheless, this release of Search API by Apple is seen as a move by the company to generate further developer interest in iOS platform as its maps continue to evolve over time.