Apple kicked Google to the curb and introduced its own Maps app back in 2012. Despite the fanfare, Apple's Maps fell flat and was mocked by all for its poor data, errors and lack of mapping infrastructure. Maps has yet to regain its reputation. A new report indicates that Apple hopes to vindicate Maps with iOS 8 and a slew of improvements.

The new Maps should be getting some serious updates, including transit directions, data, reliability and even augmented reality. Currently, Maps sends you to third-party apps every time you ask for public transit directions. This is obviously a huge issue for people who want to use Maps while traveling in big cities with complex transit systems. The addition of transit directions right in the app will make a lot of users happy and bring iOS Maps closer to Google Maps' standards.

According to 9to5 Mac's sources, the public transit information will arrive first in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, but will soon cross over to other American cities and some overseas. Naturally, the faster Apple rolls out public transit support on its app for the world's major cities, the more downloads and cautious new users it will gain.

When Apple acquired HopStop, Embark and BroadMap, everyone knew that the company was planning a huge revamp of Maps. Not only will the data from these three companies help Apple add public transit directions and information to its app, it will also invariably improve the overall map database Apple is curating. After all, a maps app isn't born over night. It takes time and a whole lot of data to shape up into a true Google Maps competitor.

One thing is for certain: Apple needs a whole lot of data to make its Maps app worth using. The biggest problem with Apple's version of Maps when it first debuted on iOS 6 was that it quite simply had no idea what directions to suggest and often misplaced structures, roads and other important landmarks. It was, in a word, unuseable.

Google reaped all the benefits of Apple's huge failure. Its iOS Google Maps app reached 10 million downloads in only two days. Even those who are not tech savvy noticed that Maps was a flop and many of them will never go back to iOS Maps. Google Maps continues to be the uncontested king of the map apps and it may take years for Apple to restore its reputation with users. 

The new Maps will reportedly feature a cleaner, clearer interface with the addition of points of interest, like airports, hospitals, parks, subway stations etc. Freeways and highways will also enjoy more prominence in the app. There is also some buzz about adding augmented reality functionality to the app, but it's unclear how much that would help the situation, as most people just want a functional map app, not a jazzed up one that fails on basic points.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.