Users of Apple's iCloud beta site will now see their lost devices placed atop Apple's own maps, though Google continues to power the public edition for the time being. The change was first noticed by German blog iPhoneBlog.de
Functionality remains the same between the two versions, though Apple's vector-based maps do appear more lightweight. AppleInsider tests revealed the Google Maps-powered version transferred some 4 megabytes of data for a single request, compared to just over 400 kilobytes for Apple's.
iCloud's Find my iPhone application is one of the few areas where Apple continues to use Google Maps — along with its retail store locator — though Tuesday's unveiling of web-based maps suggests that Google's time is near an end. Apple has been steadily working to improve its own mapping solution in recent months following a nearly disastrous debut that ultimately resulted in the firing of former iOS chief Scott Forstall.
The company has begun issuing routine updates to maps and point-of-interest data, with changes propagating at approximately midnight Pacific time every day. Apple has also been seen advertising for new Maps API engineers, hinting at "big plans" to overhaul Maps's backend systems.