Roads leading to nowhere. Bridges that looked like roller coasters. Cities that have ceased to exist.
That was the state of Apple Maps almost six years ago. No longer. And Apple Maps will get even better. For the past four years, Apple has been working to rebuild its card technology from scratch. Instead of relying on third parties for their cards, Apple has sent thousands of people in vans to map the world and collect their own data.
From next weekpeople in the San Francisco Bay Area will see more detailed information and more accurate navigation in Apple Maps. When iOS 1
At some point, the whole US will have the better Apple Maps. Apple did not say how much time it would take to cover the whole country, but he noticed that it would be closer to a year than five. It also declined to say whether or when it would expand internationally.
The remake is the biggest thing that's happened to Maps since its launch in 2012, and comes at a time when more and more companies are paying attention to where they are and how location data serves future innovations like self-driving cars. Apple provides a service that values your privacy. But the company will have to work hard to change that terrible first impression – one in which most users have lost the app for more reliable alternatives.
"Pretty much everyone I know – unless they accidentally press Apple Maps or it's a link to an app – uses Waze or Google Maps," said Moor Insights & Strategy Analyst Patrick Moorhead. "Apple must make us all believers … that they are able to fork out a big data project like this."
Apple released its first self-developed mapping program along with its iOS 6 Mobile Software and iPhone 5 in September 2012. The company had previously preloaded Google Maps on its devices, but tensions between the technology giants prompted Apple to release its own version create. The problem was. iOS users immediately noticed problems navigating to finding an address.
It was a rare, serious misstep for the company. Apple boss Tim Cook publicly apologized for the issues, dismissing the company's software head and working to improve the mapping app. Since then, Maps has become more reliable, but experts say it's still behind Google Maps.
And while Apple says Maps is the most widely used map app on iOS devices, it's mainly due to China, where Google Maps does not work, said Carolina Milanesi, Creative Strategies Analyst. Apple also benefits from the thousands of apps that connect to Apple Maps by default when giving instructions to iPhone users. According to last year's Creative Strategies survey, 45 percent of iPhone users in the US used Google Maps and 18 percent used the Google Waze app. Only 36 percent used Apple Maps.
"People say, 'Hey, they've already lost Google & # 39 ;," Milanesi said. "But I do not think it's a matter of winning or losing Google, they obviously have users, they have a service and they need to improve it."
That's exactly what Apple is trying to do. 19659016] Built from scratch
Apple began rebuilding maps from scratch two years after launch. Previously, she relied on partners such as TomTom and OpenStreetMap for the core cards, but her instructions were largely based on directions and did not work well for transit or even for running. If there was a problem, it took a long time for Apple to fix it almost immediately.
By the time Maps became available for the first time, Apple was not sure if it wanted to be in the card business at all, Apple executives told TechCrunch. But it's clear that maps are not just about easy navigation. They will be the key to new technologies such as self-driving cars and even augmented reality, and maps will enable completely new industries and tools. If Apple wants to be part of it, it has to control its own technology.
"We said," Where do we want to take maps? What do we want to do in Maps? "Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue told TechCrunch. "We realized that given what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go, we had to do it ourselves."
Apple said creating your own maps gives you more control over the maps – as if you're more focused on walking and public transport. In addition, changes can be implemented faster and faster. Everything it wants to do will no longer require working with a third party. Control over more and more proprietary technologies was a big focus for Apple. It even makes many of its own iPhone components, rather than buying from suppliers.
Parking lots and garages become more detailed, and so are pedestrian data like walking directions. Addresses become more precise, for example, when you know that the main entrance to a building is actually around the corner from the actual street address of the building. And there will be more details for parks, rivers, swimming pools and other green spaces. Apple even goes with the font used on the real road and traffic signs.
Owning your location data
One major benefit of using Apple Maps over Google Maps could be privacy. Apple encrypts data collected from its mapping transporters and uses artificial intelligence to blur faces and license plates. If something is wrong, Apple sends people to check routes or specific locations.
While Apple Maps forecasts navigation routes, you need to go to normal locations, such as at home or in the office, but stay private. When you select a route, the data is anonymized before being sent to Apple. The company does not profile you, maintains your specific route history, or associates your routes or map data with your Apple ID.
"We collect data – if we do – anonymously in subsections of the whole, so we can not even say that there is one person who went from point A to point B," Cue told TechCrunch ,
Google says that tracking location history gives Google Map users more information relevant results and make predictions that are helpful, such as warning against going to work sooner if traffic is bad is. As of this week, Google Maps can provide food and beverage recommendations based on your preferences. And Google says that users can delete their location history at any time. But until you do that, it has gathered a lot of information about you.
Apple used this argument to reinforce its popular product line. Getting people to use Apple Maps can be the real test of whether people really care about their privacy.
First published on July 29 at 15:16 PT.
Updated at 16:43 PT : Adds details to Google Maps.
Tech Enabled: CNET reports on the role of technology in providing new types of accessibility.
Blockchain Decoded: CNET looks at the tech-power bitcoin – and soon a multitude of services that will change your life.