New Unknown Features On Apple Maps Shows It Could Catch Up With Google Maps Soon

Apple Maps was a disaster when it was first released in 2012. If you were an Apple Maps user then you would have known this. Many users reverted to Google Maps after using Apple Maps. There were cases recorded when people ended up in potentially life threatening situations. Even the cops in Australia have warned the people against using Apple maps app. But after iOS 10 update, Apple maps has taken a whole new turn. Here are the reasons why you might want to use Apple Maps again.

Introduction About Apple Maps:

Apple Maps is a web mapping service developed by Apple Inc. It is the default map system of iOS, macOS, and watchOS. It provides directions and estimated times of arrival for automobile, pedestrian, and public transportation navigation. Apple Maps also features the Flyovers mode, a feature that enables a user to explore certain densely populated urban centers and other places of interest in a 3D landscape composed of models of buildings and structures.On September 19, 2012, Apple released its mapping service in iOS, replacing Google Maps as the default mapping service for Apple operating systems. In the initial launch, it received large amounts of criticism from users and newspapers for incorrect directions, a lack of support for public transportation users and various other bugs and errors. Since its introduction, further software development has addressed many of those criticisms.

On June 11, 2012, during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced the initial release of Apple Maps and revealed that the application would replace Google Maps as the default web mapping service in iOS 6 and beyond. Apple also announced that the application would include turn-by-turn navigation, 3D maps, Flyovers, and the virtual assistant Siri. Furthermore, Apple stated that iPhone users would be able to navigate Apple Maps while in the locked screen. The mapping service was released on September 19, 2012.Following the launch, Apple Maps was heavily criticized, which resulted in a public apology by Apple CEO Tim Cook in late September and the departure of two key employees of Apple.Before Apple Maps launched as the default mapping application in iOS, Google Maps held this position since the first generation iPhone release in 2007. In late 2009, tensions between Google and Apple started to grow when the Android version of Google Maps featured turn by turn navigation, a feature which the iOS version lacked.

At the time, Apple argued that Google collected too much user data. When Apple made iOS 6 available, Google Maps could only be accessed by iOS 6 users via the web. Although Google did not immediately launch a mapping application of its own, shortly after the announcement of Apple Maps, Google did add an equivalent of Apple Maps’ Flyover feature to its virtual globe application Google Earth. Three months later, in December 2012, Google Maps was released in the App Store. This version of Google Maps, unlike the previous version, featured turn-by-turn navigation. Shortly after it was launched, Google Maps was the most popular free application in the App Store.Speculation around Apple creating a mapping service of its own arose in 2009 after computer magazine Computerworld reported that Apple had acquired the company Placebase, an online mapping service, in July of that year. Since then, the CEO of Placebase became a part of Apple’s “Geo Team”. In the following two years, Apple acquired two more mapping related companies who specialized in 3D maps: Poly9 in 2010 and C3 Technologies in 2011.

C3 Technologies’ imagery was later used for the Flyovers feature in Apple Maps. Earlier in 2011, Apple indicated its plan for a mapping service when it stated on its website that it was collecting location data to create “an improved traffic service in the next couple of years” for iPhone users. In September 2012, when Apple Maps was released, a source connected to both Google and Apple Maps claimed to technology website TechCrunch that Apple was recruiting Google employees that worked on Google Maps.In the first year after its release, Apple Maps received a number of improvements which solved various errors in the application. Other changes included adding more satellite imagery and making the navigation available in more cities. In 2013, Apple also acquired a few companies to improve Apple Maps, namely HopStop, Embark, WifiSlam, and Locationary, as well as the team and the technology of the company BroadMap. HopStop and Embark both specialized in mapping public transportation, WifiSlam specialized in interior maps, Locationary provided accurate company data for mapping services, and BroadMap managed, sorted, and analyzed map data.

During WWDC in June 2013, Apple announced the new version of Apple Maps in iOS 7. This new version had a new look and icon. A number of new functions were also implemented, including full-screen mode, night mode, real-time traffic information, navigation for pedestrians, and the Frequent Locations feature. The latter feature, which can be switched on and off, was introduced to record the most frequently visited destinations by users in order to improve Apple Maps. In addition, new satellite imagery was added once again. On September 18, 2013, Apple released iOS 7. At that time, the new iPhone 5S included a new motion coprocessor, the M7, which can identify whether a user is walking or driving in order to adjust the navigation mode.During that same conference, Apple announced that a desktop version of the application would be made available for OS X Mavericks.On October 22, 2013, Apple released OS X Mavericks and the desktop version of Apple Maps. The desktop version was similar to that in iOS 7, but it connected with the Contacts and Calendar applications. Additionally, the desktop version enabled users to send locations and directions to other devices with iOS. In June of the following year, Apple acquired the company Spotsetter, a social search engine that gave personalized recommendations for places to visit. Since the acquisition, most of its employees now work at Apple.

On September 17, 2014, the successor of iOS 7, iOS 8, became available. Later that year, on October, 16, Apple released OS X Yosemite. Neither update brought any major modifications to Apple Maps. However, the feature “City Tours” was introduced to both iOS and OS X. This function made it possible for the user to be guided through locations with Flyovers. Also, Apple Maps results were shown in the search feature Spotlight in OS X Yosemite. Later in 2014, Apple news website 9to5Mac reported that in the previous months a number of Apple Maps employees, including a key employee, had left the company to work for Uber. In the next year, Apple Maps was added to the operating system of the new Apple Watch, which was released on April 24, 2015. The smartwatch version of Apple Maps features turn-by-turn navigation. The app indicates navigation instructions by taps on the user’s wrist.

During WWDC on June 8, 2015, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, announced that the new version of Apple Maps in iOS 9 would have information about public transportation in a number of global cities.The function also became available for OS X El Capitan and watchOS 2. In addition, Apple added the function “Nearby”, which shows nearby points of interest in several categories. With the update, the application chooses a detour in case of a traffic delay. The three new versions of the operating systems became available in September 2015. In addition to these new releases, Apple acquired a few companies in 2015 in order to improve the mapping application even further. In the spring, Apple also acquired Coherent Navigation, that provides precise location data through High Integrity GPS, and the startup company Mapsense later that year. The latter had developed software to organize large amounts of location data.

In 2016, Apple Maps opened a new development center and it was updated for watchOS and iOS. The application was improved when watchOS 2.2 came out in March 2016. Apple Maps was renewed in the new version of the operating system and received a number of new features, including “Nearby” which had previously been exclusive to iOS. Four months later, Apple CEO Tim Cook inaugurated a new office in partnership with IT company RMSI,Noida, at the WaveRock campus in the Indian city Hyderabad. The development center focusses on the development of Apple Maps and employs 4,000 people.According to ZDNet, the 250,000 square feet office costed US$25 million. In September, iOS 10 was released. The update of the Apple’s mobile operating system was accompanied by a new design of Apple Maps. Moreover, the application was opened up to developers and gained a few features: it makes suggestions for places to go based on earlier usage of the app, it can remember the location where the user parked his vehicle, it allows a user to filter search suggestions, and the turn-by-turn navigation was improved. The navigation automatically zooms in and out, shows traffic ahead, and allows users to search for points of interests along the route. These features are available for CarPlay as well.

Traffic notification of events saved in calendar

Apple maps syncs with the inbuilt calendar app. So whenever you save an event in the calendar, you will get a notification about the event on that day along with the traffic updates. The notification specifies the location and time of the event. It also includes the traffic conditions and at what time you should leave for the meeting for you to reach on time. This type of notification helps in avoiding the awkward situations of being late for important meetings.

Make a Reservation at a Restaurant, book a cab and pay for it.

Generally, we reserve a table at a restaurant by calling the restaurant or through an app. With Apple maps, you do not have to search for the appropriate app separately. Apple maps provide a link to Open Table app where you can reserve a table at a restaurant of your choice. If you do not have the Open Table app you need to download it. When you are ready to leave the restaurant, and when you tap on the directions, you are given a new option to book a ride with app extensions like Uber and pay for it with Apple Pay. You are doing all these tasks without leaving your maps.

Know the Traffic prior to choosing a route

If you don’t want to give the lame excuse of “I was stuck in traffic” by being late to office or a meeting then just slide the traffic button on by going to Settings -> Maps. It shows you the traffic on your route. If the traffic is heavy in a particular area then the path in that area is highlighted in red lines. Thus you can save the time by changing your route with help of traffic feature in maps.

Color coded locations to understand the locations easily

The locations are color coded i.e, it groups the places according to their category and each group is represented by a color. For example, shopping places are represented by a shopping bag symbol in a yellow circle, restaurants are represented by fork and knife symbol in orange circle. This makes it easy for the users to identify the location’s category even though they have never heard of that place before.

Lane Guidance

iOS11 beta 2, lane guidance feature is in testing mode as of now and is soon going to be launched in the apple maps. The CarPlay feature which only iOS is offering is going to get an additional boost with the introduction of this lane guidance. This could well be the game changer in the battle between google maps and apple maps.

Proactive Maps

Apple maps are proactive. If you are in the app and when you slide up from the bottom, it gives you suggestions based on the calendar events or the frequent places you visit at that time. It also suggests the places you might want to stop by like restaurants, Gas Stations or Coffee Shops nearby while on your route. You can filter the restaurants based on the type of food you would like to eat at that time by selecting the food type.

Add Home Location and custom locations

Apple Maps allows the users to save home location. All you need to do is manually put your home address in your iPhone’s contacts card. So whenever you open maps it will automatically give your home address as a suggestion without searching any location’s name. You can also add custom locations. Tapping the info button provides you option of marking the location.

Reviews of a Restaurant

If you want to try a new restaurant and you do not have any idea about the food’s taste, ambiance etc, then Maps includes the reviews where you can check the customer’s feedback and decide if you want to go that restaurant.

Flyover Tour

Apple maps have introduced the feature of Flyover tour which gives the 3D view from the top of the location as if you are viewing the location while flying. All you have to do to use this feature is to select the Flyover option in the satellite section when you enter the destination you want to reach.

Weather

With Apple maps, you can get the weather information of a particular location. When you type a location name it automatically gives the weather information of that place. It is really helpful for people who do not check the weather conditions of a place they are planning to go on mini trip or tour.

Displays the information of Wikipedia

When you are going to historical places and if you do not have any idea about that place, then you do not have to search about those places separately. The Wikipedia information of that place is provided for you when you search a place. Now you can have a brief idea about the place you want to visit.

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