Gone are the days when we solely relied on our intuition and enquiring ability to locate a destination. Using a high resolution map on our smartphones has become the new norm. More people, especially in developing and under-developed countries, have increased their reliance on satellite imagery and GPS technology to triangulate their location and eventually guide them to their potential destination. One such highly popular, if not the most used, mobile application is Apple Maps. First launched in 2012, Apple Maps currently comes integrated with Apple’s numerous products and services used globally. In June 2018, Apple’s Senior Vice President Eddy Cue announced that a brand new version of the product is set to launch in San Francisco and the Bay area with the next iOS 12, which hopes to match Google Maps in terms of functionality and usage.
Since its controversial inception 6 year ago, Apple Maps has received mostly negative reviews from critics and users alike due to its poor performance and consistent glitches. It not only provided incorrect driving directions during navigation, but also lacked in depth knowledge about transit and public transportation. In addition to these issues, it also lacked information about point of interests like shops and restaurants, even in major cities worldwide.
While newer versions of the application rolled out with the launch of subsequent new iOS’s, it still didn’t resolve majority of these elemental issues, resulting even Apple users to use Google Maps instead. Undisputedly the most common mapping application used for direction and transit, Google Maps currently holds a strong foot in the market. Its standout features, like offline usage, bicycle maps, and real-time traffic information, are just the cream on the top of a well build cake that consistently provides its users with unparalleled levels of navigational pleasure. Google Maps also allows its users to act as local guides, relying on their contribution to ensure a continuous update on local point of interests.
With the launch of its latest mapping application, Apple promises to rectify its bugs once in for all while thriving to match the standard set by Google Maps. In the past, TomTom, a Dutch company that produces traffic, navigation and mapping products, provided the main mapping data for Apple Maps. Apple now moves towards comprehensively owing every aspect of its mapping application. In order to do so, Apple has launched its new mapping vehicles with advanced cameras to conduct more detailed and richer mapping than Google Cars. With this methodology, Apple thrives to build street maps of high-quality that could train self-driving cars.
Along with generating its own map, Apple also indicates an update on its vector graphics technique for displaying the map interface. In the past, Google Maps has received criticism of tracking your location history. The new version of Apple Maps will not store the beginning and end of your journey, thus ensuring more privacy of your location data. In addition to these updates, Apple Map also promises to enhance its Flyover mode, used by its users to explore densely populated urban areas in 3D landscapes.
While the mapping of streets by Apple’s vehicles might take a while to finish, the move towards creating its own map has shown Apple’s confident stance in tackling its previous issues. As Apple Maps is seamlessly integrated with the iOS software, a shift in making it better will ensure Apple users to use their map instead of Google’s.