Apple execs explain why you should use Apple Maps

Apple Maps first launched in 2012 and became the default map app on iPhones everywhere. Its launch was rocky, poorly received, and should’ve been tagged with a “beta” designation that would have spared the software from most of the “melting bridges” jokes hurled its way.

But, Apple kept at it and has been rolling out an all-new Maps — a 3D experience with a considerable amount of visual details, improved accuracy, and many quality-of-life upgrades.

Apple Maps features a three-dimensional city experience with more realistic and colorful details, and an interactive globe that offers a new way of looking at the world.
Apple Maps features a three-dimensional city experience with more realistic and colorful details, and an interactive globe that offers a new way of looking at the world.

CNN Underscored chated exclusively with David Dorn, product lead, and Meg Frost, design lead, at Apple Maps.

Jacob Krol for CNN Underscored:

So what’s new with this 3D approach on top of an accurate map? Well, it’s really about the details. When navigating somewhere on an iPhone, you’ll notice that you’ll see clearer details about lanes in a road. Lanes are depicted accurately — with road markings — and intersections show crosswalks. It not only helps with accessibility since you’ll know those elements are there, but also extends to knowing what lane you need and how to get there properly. Even neater, you’ll see proper elevation when navigating complex highways that have ground-level roads with overpasses that intersect.

“At a glance, drivers can understand a complex intersection more quickly than ever before,” said Frost. “And that detail helps with that split-second decision of which turn they’re going to make. So we want it to be both safer and visually satisfying to navigate.”

And if you have an iPhone and Apple Watch, you can use Apple Maps for a hands-free experience. Thanks to haptic feedback on your wrist, you can know to make a left or a right turn when using walking directions, as the watch will subtly tap on your wrist. It’s been a favorite feature of ours since wearing the watch.

Dorn described the advantages as a three-pronged approach for why Apple Maps should at least be considered as your map of choice. Firstly, Apple is making a large investment into Maps to continue making it better. Privacy is central to it, in that you don’t need to make a separate account and they aren’t tracking your location for data purposes. Third is the design and ecosystem that Maps plays into. The integration with other Apple devices and services is a key aspect of this service.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Maps, which we’ve used from its launch day on September 19, 2012, has come a long, long way. If you gave up on it prior to the beginning of the rollout of the new rebuilt-from-the-ground-up Apple Maps, give it a try today. You might be very surprised. So much so that you might want to make it your go to maps app!

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21 Comments

  1. I didn’t use Apple Maps for some years. It was just clearly inferior to Google Maps. IMHO it isn’t yet equal to Google Maps but it is now very good. Couple that with Apple Maps not recording everywhere you go, Apple Maps is overall better.

  2. I wish Apple would add bike paths/Greenways to Apple Maps then I might use it more. Apple is supposed to be so eco-friendly and yet they don’t have marked bike paths on Apple Maps like there is on Google Maps. That’s sort of sad. I live in NYC and bike path mileage is growing although there is a lot left to be desired because in certain areas there are only a few bike paths and they’re not even connected to major bike paths. There are bike paths that run a mile and then end basically nowhere useful.

    I suppose all Apple would need to do is get an electric bike or electric scooter and start mapping bike paths the same way they do with their cars. It would add quite a bit more usefulness to Apple Maps and probably wouldn’t cost that much.

  3. I depend on Google Maps to see bike paths in Los Angeles. I run a cycling club and create routes in Ride With GPS. I’m so grateful that they have the option of using the Google Maps API for accurate routing and to be able to see where bike paths, bike lanes and bike routes are located.

  4. In the early covid ‘world shutdown’, I was allowed emergency entry to Japan (Osaka), in order to see/return to the US my injured son. Spent over 9 weeks there. I speak zero Japanese (unlike him), yet with Apple Maps I was able to navigate buses, trains and walking paths to get to/from his apartment, hospital, grocery stores and finally the train to the airport. Yeah, Apple Maps saved my backside in Sept 2020. Any ‘improvement’ is welcome, but for the most part, while any map app can get you from A>B, Apple’s app saved me. For that – thank you.

  5. While always the chance that it exists, and I just have not yet figured it out, but it would help immensely for planning road trips, if Maps would allow for more than one destination, i.e., plan from point A to B to C to D to return, etc.

  6. Better, but still not as good as Google or Bing “Birds Eye” view I used to use. Others have mentioned bike paths, lacking connection in other countries and I’ll mention the gold standard Google keeps on top of more accurate business locations, openings and closures and accompanying information — no contest.

    Under the SJW guise of keeping people safe, same ruse used by Covid government lockdowns, Apple is touting crosswalk markings on roadways as the NEW safety measure… Seriously?

    Do I have to study intersections the night before I drive or stop in the middle of an intersection to que Apple Maps? NO. You pay attention and learn as you drive everyone has done since the Model-T Ford. Ridiculous window dressing fluff…

  7. If I enter an address to preview a route without starting the trip and then I leave the app and return, it reloads and I have to find and enter the address again, this is on an iPhone 12 Pro Max. Apple Maps is still in Beta.

  8. I love Apple Maps and use it almost exclusively but I’ve got three things on my wishlist –
    1) download map tiles when you kick off navigation to reduce data usage
    2) way points (although, if you search for someplace new and go to it, it does ask if you want to return to your original trip)
    3) precipitation overlay

  9. I’ve not used it since the news of its initial problems. I always thought that it simply was poorly designed. Maybe I should give it a look but I’m pretty used to using Google.

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