iOS 12: The myriad ways Apple is about to improve Maps

“Apple’s Maps service is hugely important. Location and knowledge about different locations is a secret sauce that binds so many future IoT product development plans together, from news app to ride sharing and tomorrow’s road transport,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Apple’s vice presidnet of services, Eddy Cue, promised the following improvements to Maps beginning in iOS 12.”

“Apple hopes to make Maps the ‘best’ mapping app in the world, Cue promised,” Evans writes. “Apple plans to eventually rebuild its service using its own data rather than relying on information from external providers. This should mean updates and changes to road layouts will be made much more quickly than at present. The data has been gathered over the last few years by the company’s international fleet of Apple Cars.”

“Apple Maps will be better at identifying changes to roads and spotting new construction, and it will provide useful tools such as correctly guiding travelers to the front door of new places,” Evans writes. “TechCrunch says the data is of good enough quality to begin training autonomous vehicles, which Apple will inevitably do once it unlocks the many complex challenges to such a task. It observes the mapping rig atop the vehicles is more sophisticated than those used on other mapping vehicles. ”

Tons more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We can’t wait to see and use Apple’s new Maps! Hopefully, it will delivery a big enough bang to blow away its bad first impression that still lingers strongly today.

No matter what Apple does, no matter how much better they make Apple Maps, it will now always “suck” in the minds of a large segment of the population… Apple seems to have learned nothing from the Newton: First impressions mean everything. Apple’s Maps have been Newtonized. All that’s missing is the Doonesbury strip… Here’s a little hint for the future: Everything that requires widespread customer use to develop a rich database before the product becomes fully usable should be clearly labeled “beta” upon release. Apple did it with Siri, but they forgot to do it with Maps. Had Apple been smart enough to simply place a “beta” tag on Maps, all of this rigamarole would never have occurred. — MacDailyNews Take, September 28, 2012

One thing Apple will have a difficult time buying: Respect for their Maps app, no matter how superior it gets over all others (and many parts of it already are – and even were at launch). It’s unfortunate, but first impressions were so badly botched by Apple (a simple “beta” tag would have sufficed) that it will take a sustained herculean effort to reverse the public misperception of Maps as inferior to Google Maps.MacDailyNews, September 16, 2015

Apple granted patent for rendering road signs during navigation – June 30, 2018
TomTom shares fall after report Apple is building own Maps database on – June 29, 2018
Questions about Apple’s new Maps, answered – June 29, 2018
Apple has been rebuilding Maps from the ground up for years and it’s due to launch very soon – June 29, 2018


    1. People need a history lesson. This has always been true of Apple going back to the 1980s. I never buy the first version of anything Apple makes. That has been the case since the 80s. Apple’s first versions are typically better than others but Apple iterates and the second and third versions are normally much improved. This isn’t a new thing young’un.

      1. You speak the truth about Apple history. I just think that Apple Maps was so horrendously bad at the first iteration and was rushed out, that it didn’t meet Apple’s previous first iteration standards.

  1. It needs some more basic features:

    1. Switchable to a “north is always up” view. (“true north”)

    2. A compass or direction indicator when in a “direction headed is up” view. (“relative is up”)

    3. Turn by turn in both views.

    4. Trip planning mode. The ability of adding intermediate way points into the route.

      1. 4 Trip planning :
        please explain how to build an itinerary from a continent to an island and vice versa. Or from USA to Japan or England, or from Australia to New Zealand, or from Taiwan to China, or from Malaysia to Singapore, or from Africa to Europe !

      2. It may have some features but the one I would like to see is the possibility of downloading certain areas so I don’t need to rely on data. ( I am currently standing on one foot with my toes crossed to write this and would have liked to use CarPlay to get here)

  2. Apple Maps cannot hold a candle to Waze for the simple reason that it does not use crowd sourcing. Waze is updated by travelers, so I know when and where there’s an accident, congestion due to rush hour or police with a speed trap. Apple Maps can’t touch this is and is thus nowhere as useful. Sorry Apple, but you blew it by not buying Waze…

    1. Maps uses TomTom which is crowdsourced. Traffic congestion is represented in yellow and red and is factored into its time-of-travel calculations. During trips Siri will report newly reported obstacles and plot a faster route on the fly.

    2. Haven’t used Apple Maps in years? Apple Maps crowd sources real time traffic data, plus it provides real-time accident/construction/lane closure reporting and rerouting.

      1. I just checked and it DOES NOT report the major highway construction/lane closures (in one case, a *permanent* closure of an onramp as lanes are widened) that are in place near me. Sure, it suggests routes correctly via the detours but it doesn’t show WHY it’s chosen that route.

        To be fair, the others are incomplete too as Google Maps marks the permanent onramp closure but not the temporary offramp closure (and yes this means its recommended routing is flat-out wrong), while Waze marks the complete opposite (which is odd as they’re driven by the same company). My point is though that it does not *report* the closures like you say it does.

    3. Waze is overrated. Despite the theory that “more data is always better”, Google’s primary purpose as always is to sell your location to advertisers and retailers — not to provide the most accurate route timing or road conditions. Like all Google products, zero effort goes into policing the product. Shenanigan users have successfully faked traffic jams many times using Waze, rerouting hundreds of cars needlessly. It has also been criticised by law enforcement agencies as reckless street racers use the app to track and distract traffic cops so they can break laws elsewhere.

      Crowdsourcing, in short, can be gamed and there is no guarantee you, will know the difference. Google won’t tell you.

      Apple Maps, which also uses crowdsourcing, shows that the richest company on the earth can also be clueless.

      Finally – only a small portion of the crowd is worth tracking. How and where people drive, identifying who is actually driving to get somewhere else, and what idjuts are just clogging roadways with more attention on their in-dash infotainment and cell phone texting than actually getting going, that takes data that no digital company is ever going to have without draconian tracking powers. My biggest concern is that Apple is telling everyone that it’s all concerned with privacy and security today, while it tries as hard as it can to duplicate all the same powers that less scrupulous companies have. The next leader after Cook could easily flip the switch to fully enable Apple Big Brother Mode. It is happening by degrees. Why else is an Apple account necessary in order for you to own and operate a Mac “personal” computer? Probably because Cook really wants to track people just as badly as Google and Facebook do.

  3. There are several types of Apple Maps critics. Of them are:
    Never used Apple Maps, they just don’t like Apple
    Android fanbois
    Google financed shills
    Haven’t used Apple Maps is a very long time
    Unable to accept that no maps application is perfect.

    I use Apple Maps a lot with few, if any, issues. At times I could benefit from a feature another map application offers, but the reverse is also true, at times Apple Maps has a feature the competition doesn’t offer.

    Dumping Tom Tom will greatly improve Apple Maps accuracy and timeliness.

    The timing of the rebirth of Apple Maps corresponds to the acquisition of an ML startup by Apple (about 2 years ago).

    That acquired ML technology requires 80% fewer samples and results in 30% greater accuracy than the ML technology used by Google, Waze and the like. Further, Apple’s ML technology is hosted on the Apple device, not in the Cloud, ensuring personal privacy protection.

  4. Make it possible to calculate itineraries from an island to a continent or to add other island ! Add pins in the calculation of itineraries !

  5. Don’t hide maps with unnecessary and useless clouds in Find my Friends maps ! Make symbols active in Find my Friends maps ! It is a necessity !

  6. Maps is junk in Australia. All the glowing reviews for the app are from USA/N America. Outside the bubble, the maps are crap – lots of errors. No competition for Google Earth in Australia or elsewhere in the universe outside the USA bubble.

    1. I’ve been complaining about Apple Maps for years, but the complaint has usually been the same one. The problems were with the database ( from TomTom ). The actual map display and route plannng is very clear. When I specify a zip code or postcode for my destination it works well and comes up with a good route.

      The problem comes when you ask it to find a named place. The database would often come up with a business using a similar name in a different continent rather than the actual town or place I was searching for which was only fifty miles away. I would like to think that Apple Maps will one day be smart enough to work out that if I’m asking for routes by car, the likelihood is that I want to stay on the same continent as my starting point.

  7. Make it possible for a selected location on a map to be easily added into all and every corresponding fields of a contact in the Contacts app. Make it working for every language in every country !

  8. ˙ǝɔuɐɥɔ ǝɥʇ pɐɥ ʎǝɥʇ uǝɥʍ sʎɐM ʇɥƃnoq ǝʌ’plnoɥs ǝldd∀ ʇɐɥʇ ǝǝɹƃɐ I ˙˙˙ɹǝʌǝʍoH ˙sdɐW ǝlƃooפ sɐ pooƃ sɐ ʇsnɾ sᴉ ʇᴉ ʞuᴉɥʇ I

  9. Apple can only crowd source from iPhones. Waze has a larger data set since it also uses Android. Also, when last I checked, I didn’t see the ability in Apple Maps to send a message to the system that there’s a car stopped on the side of the road, or a cop radaring cars for speeding. Waze has this.

    Bottom line: Waze has saved me LOTS of money by warning me of speed traps and lots of time by avoiding congestion. It’s hands down the best app out there for me…. (As always, YMMV)…

  10. I’d like to see some way to designate Interstate exit numbers. All of the ones that have been designated have been so for decades. Every now and again one is added. Numbers in blue/green/black triangles?

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