Apple Maps is stepping up its game with various upgrades, a move that is part of the iOS 13 update.
Apple Maps Upgrades With A Slew Of New Features
Along with the launch of iOS 13, Apple is beginning to roll out the upgrades to its sorely neglected Maps app. One of the new features is Look Around, which allows users to look around a real-world street location. Basically, it's Apple's version of Google Maps' Street View, and it looks great with realistic high-resolution images.
Even beyond the Look Around feature, Apple Maps looks good with its new makeover. The Verge noted that the app appears to have more depth and detail as well as being more topographically and ecologically accurate.
Now, users have the capability to share real-time ETA with friends and contacts. It's also much simpler to classify favorite and frequently visited locations together. Indoor maps of about 500 airports and malls are also part of the new Apple Maps.
Real-time transit information has been added as well with live departure times, outages, and cancellations for public transit systems. Siri will chime in with more natural-sounding language for directions.
Finally, Apple also focused on privacy for the Maps upgrades, blurring out license plates, people, and even reflections with advanced machine learning technology.
Apple Seeks Better Technology To Improve Outdated App
Apple used to enlist the services of third-party providers for the map data. It was a move that backfired when users discovered the app was chock full of errors, including wrong transit directions, mislabeled landmarks, and misidentified cities and towns, among others.
In 2018, the company began with its overhaul of the app with Apple Maps slowly improving, particularly in aesthetics.
For the iOS 13 update, Apple invested in a fleet of cars and planes armed with cameras and LiDAR sensors. The fleet of hundreds traveled 4 million miles to collect data that helped the company elevate its mapping service.
Apple Maps is headed in the right direction, but for now, the upgrades are limited to a handful of areas in the United States: California, Texas, and the country's Northeast region.
It's also less comprehensive than Google Maps. For instance, it only has detailed transit directions for 10 cities, which is incredibly limited considering Google offers this in a long list of cities around the world.
"The bar for Apple Maps isn't incredibly high — it's just 'don't suck,'" tech analyst Shelly Palmer pointed out to the New York Post. "I don't know anybody that uses Apple Maps on their iOS device. You're not going to find anybody that's a serious user of technology that hasn't replaced Apple Maps with Google Maps."