Apple is Phasing in a New Version of the iOS Maps App

While many users had a poor first experience with Apple Maps, it looks like Cupertino is giving the entire app another go. Longterm iOS users may remember when Apple’s CEO offered an apology due to problems associated with the software. A number of vacant areas on the app have now been filled as a result of major data partnerships and as a result it looks like Maps might finally be ready for primetime.

Apple’s newly revised product may attract some users who are dissatisfied with Google’s more popular Android-ported solutions. The iOS version of Google Maps offers something that resembles a traffic map, but it omits details that aren’t deemed important by the developers.

For instance, you might only see on and off ramps if it was necessary to get to your destination. Cupertino’s app is more like a traditional paper traffic map. This might make it popular with those who have plenty of experience with regular maps and prefer to keep that kind of experience. Those who do could find that the app combined with their skills would indeed be much faster than allowing a different program to chart a course for them.

Some of the early phases of redevelopment are already completed. Apple is continuing to use first-party data they’ve collected from iPhones as well as its own fleet of sensor-equipped automobiles. The company said that they ensured full anonymity with all data they took from customer devices.

Totally revamped versions of Maps won’t be out for a while, but product launches are going on in the Bay Area of California to coincide with the next release of iOS 12 Beta. They should be able to cover all of the northern part of the state by the beginning of autumn.

Each version of iOS will eventually have some sort of updated maps app, and these should be more responsive to changes due to road construction and resulting detours. They’ll also be more visually rich, which should once again please those who are looking for an experience that’s much closer to what they got when they pulled out a traditional atlas.

Engineers hope to eventually purge themselves of any reliance on third-party data to run the app.

John Rendace
John is a GNU/Linux expert with a hobbyist's background in C/C++, Web development, storage and file system technologies. In his free time, he maintains custom and vintage PC hardware. He's been compiling his own software from source since the DOS days and still prefers using the command line all these years later.

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