Apple Maps in iOS 13: Sights set on Google

Apple is rolling out new Maps with richer details and better road coverage.
Apple is rolling out new Maps with richer details and better road coverage.

Ryan Christoffel for MacStories:

Apple’s path to a home-brewed mapping solution has been long and perilous, but it’s almost arrived.

12 years ago the iPhone launched with Google powering its pre-installed navigation software; five years later, the botched debut of Apple’s own Maps app led to the firing of a key Apple executive; Apple Maps has steadily improved over the years, but seemingly its biggest weakness is that it has never truly contained Apple’s own maps. The app is Apple’s, but the maps have always come from other sources.

Last year, Apple announced a coming change that had been years in the works: Maps would soon contain the company’s own maps, and they would be transformative. The new maps started rolling out in the US last fall with iOS 12, and Apple claims they’ll cover the entire US by the end of 2019.

Timed with the spread of its first-party mapping data, Apple is giving the Maps app a big upgrade in iOS 13 that represents the company’s biggest push yet to overtake Google Maps as the world’s most trusted, go-to mapping service. Apple Maps in iOS 13 represents – if you’re in the US at least – Apple’s purest vision to date for a modern mapping service.

MacDailyNews Take: Soon, there will be no reason to use Google Maps, unless you enjoy being tracked.


  1. MacDailyNews Take: Soon, there will be no reason to use Google Maps, unless you enjoy being tracked.

    Will iOS13 Maps have proper offline mode for travelling without expensive roaming data fees, where you can preload data (with shops etc) for large areas and it can get directions between points within that area while totally offline? i.e. not a mere cache of the route in progress (which, last I tried, blew up the moment I missed a turn and it refused to re-route)?

    If not then nope, there is still a reason to use Google Maps. Maybe when iOS14 comes along we’ll finally get this major feature.

  2. Another thought: Why can’t Maps overlay weather/satellite data so you can see if you are driving into a major weather pattern.

    I’m a bit dumbfounded this hasn’t happened already. Does any mapping app do this?

    Also, all the heads-up features found in Waze–traffic, potholes, roadkill, police sightings, etc. need to be in Maps

  3. I’ve noticed the Apple camera cars cruising my area the last month or two. So yes, Apple is noticeably making great efforts to improve Apple maps. But if Apple wants to take down Google in the maps department, they’ll have to be on more than just the iOS platform, still probably have quite a ways to go. I think Google will notice the new highway turnpike far sooner than Apple does.

    I use Google Maps, NavMii, Apple Maps, and the Nav system in my car. In that order of preference. I use Google maps less than I used to, but it’s still my goto Maps application for its ease of use and functionality. But Google Maps is becoming more and more aggressively invasive.
    I am in process of to migrate off.

    Whether or not Apple improves their service enough for me to trust it, only time will tell.

    1. I use MyRadar for weather info. When a major storm heads our way I watch it closely, especially if a tornado is possible. When taking a trip I expand the view to see where the nasty weather is and if I can avoid it. The key is that I’m using an iPhone with my fingers on the screen to move the display around – not possible on my MacBook Pro.

      When driving alone and need real time data the iPad would be the best choice.

  4. Soon?

    Waze lets you add a stop along the way of a route, search for various types of stops along a route and lets you see how many minutes off your route each stop would be, before you make your choice. And then there’s the social features that give real-time route info and reporting of police and hazards. (Which Apple could replicate given great enough market share to have relevant numbers of self-reporters)

    It’s owned by Google, and I suppose Apple had its chance to buy it.

    Here’s hoping Apple caught up.

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