Apple Maps highlights food deliveries and pharmacies

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Apple Maps helps you find food and medicine in the COVID-19 crisis.
Apple Maps helps you find food and medicine during the COVID-19 crisis.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple Maps has been tweaked to make it easier to find businesses people are more likely to need during a shelter-in-place order. The default navigation app for iPhone now gives greater prominence to grocery stores and food delivery than it does to restaurants and fast food chains.

Apple Maps gets more useful in the current crisis

Tapping in the search bar for Apple Maps opens a pop-up window that includes lists of Recent Searches and Search Nearby. That latter list has been reordered to put Groceries, Food Delivery, Pharmacies, Hospitals and Urgent Care at the top. These are all businesses people are more likely to need during the coronavirus crisis.

Below these appear Restaurants, Fast Food and Gas Stations. These are currently less useful, as table service has been suspended in restaurants across the U.S. and much of the world. And many people are under mandatory stay-at-home orders unless they work in an essential industry.

No software update necessary

Apple Maps is built into iOS, iPadOS and macOS, so there’s no need to install it. And users don’t need to do anything to get the changes discussed here — they were taken care of behind the scenes. That said, anyone who uninstalled this application from their iPhone or iPad can reinstall it from the App Store.

Rival Google Maps also recently made a similar change. The iOS and Android versions of this navigation app now make it easier to find delivery and take-out restaurants.