Apple Maps getting revamped to suck less | Cult of Mac

Apple Maps getting revamped to suck less

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Apple Maps
After going from terrible to mediocre, Apple Maps is set to become good.
Photo: Apple

Apple has begun gathering its own data about the U.S. road network, rather than buying this information from other companies. The goal is to significantly improve Apple Maps.

This app was a disaster when it launched 6 years ago, and although there have been significant improvements, it has been the butt of jokes ever since. Apple wants to change that.

Apple Maps harnesses millions of iPhones

Until now, Maps hasn’t taken advantage of the data-gathering abilities of the millions of GPS-enabled iPhones on the road at any given time. Instead, data has come from OpenStreetMap, TomTom, and similar services.

The road data from rival Google Maps comes from Android devices, but Google is very cavalier about gathering information from users. Apple takes the privacy of iPhone owners much more seriously, and so using them to populate its mapping software will have to be done with great care, according to TechCrunch.

Using iOS devices for real-time updates will greatly increase the speed at which the maps get updated.  It should also improve traffic data, something Apple currently gets from third-party companies.

In addition, Apple is deploying a fleet of vans equipped with sensors to collect road and street information.

Even so, Apple is starting slowly. New data for San Francisco will be included in upcoming iOS 12 beta versions, and will only cover northern California by this fall.

“We wanted to take this to the next level,” Eddy Cue, head of the Apple Maps project, told TechCrunch. “We have been working on trying to create what we hope is going to be the best map app in the world.”