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 Flyover 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. It released on 11 June 2012 at Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).
Apple Maps vs Google Maps
Once upon a time, Google Maps was the go-to maps provider for Apple’s iOS. That was until iOS 6 in 2012, when it was announced that Apple was creating its own rival service – and Apple Maps is now the default option on iPhones and iPads.
When Apple Maps was first released, there were a plethora of bugs and inaccuracies, including people ending up in potentially dangerous situations in Australia. (Apple Maps displayed Mildura in a national park, where temperatures can reach 46 degrees Celsius, when it was in fact 44 miles to the northeast.) There were other famous cases of islands appearing twice, hospitals and supermarkets being mixed up, Dulles Airport having the wrong address and similar gaffes.
But while road maps seem to be as accurate as Google Maps, there are still a few inaccuracies – mainly with regards to business markers being very slightly in the wrong place (occasionally in the middle of a road instead of on one side, for example). It also very mildly confused about a town postcode. It simply used a name that applied to an area a couple of miles down the road. No harm done, really.
Google Maps, on the other hand, comes with a variety of extra features – with the main one being Google Street View. Street View revolutionized the service when it launched. It enabled people to get a street-level view of where they’re going, giving them a better idea of their end location.
It didn’t stop with directions, though; people found themselves exploring places all around the world, with the service still generating a lot of interest years after launch. You can even get Google Street View data inside certain buildings, such as Euston Station, enabling people to find shops and restaurants more easily.
Apple Collecting data to improve Maps
Apple’s Eddy Cue said, “We have been working on trying to create what we hope is going to be the best map app in the world [by] building all of our own map data from the ground up.”
Apple Maps vehicles have surveyed parts of Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.