Apple Maps is facing a major overhaul. Apple will release new Google Maps data for those who have signed up for the iOS 12 beta program and will eventually reach all iOS versions. ( Emmanuel Dunand | AFP / Getty Images )
In the tech world, Apple Maps was largely a joke. The dream of former CEO Steve Jobs to create a 3D map initially seemed praiseworthy, but it quickly became old, and the imperfections quickly unraveled.
It is so abysmal that it was used in a as a punchline] Silicon Valley episodes. In this hilarious moment, the fictitious CEO of a large company, Gavin Belson, hears very negative reactions to his new compression app. He tries to compare them to some of the most notorious failures in the tech world to get a sense of how bad that is.
"How bad is that, be honest, is Windows Vista bad? It's not iPhone Do not tell me the Zune is bad, "he says
" I'm sorry, Gavin, it's Apple Maps bad, "says one of his colleagues dejectedly.
There was even a point where Apple's current CEO Tim Cook apologized for how bad Google Maps was and instead asked all the drains to download Google Maps, presumably to avoid further humiliation.
Apple Maps Overhaul
Apple is finally ready to move on. New reports report that the company will launch a completely overhauled Google Maps app in the US over the next year, containing new data it has acquired.
The new Google Maps data will be available to users of iOS 1
Apple has its data from sensor-equipped vans that have been driving around the country for years, and iPhones. The new Google Maps app will also include traffic data when users open the app, but Apple will do so anonymously, so privacy should not be a problem.
With the overhaul, Apple relies on its proprietary card data, rather than going to third-party cards like Google or TomTom. This is a huge change as third parties since launch in 2012 account for large parts of Google.
Apple Maps Visual Changes
The update also includes some much-needed aesthetic changes, including greener patches for parks and forests, more detailed waterways, and carefully crafted roadways – all designed to make it easier for users to read maps. However, it is not a complete redesign, as TechCrunch notes. But even if there are more detailed data, it will look completely different.
It is not entirely clear that Apple wants to compete with Google Maps, as obviously this would be a big task. If it's true that years and years have been spent making maps better, then it may be that it's just trying to overthrow Google's rule in the card department. Hopefully it will not become another Silicon Valley joke after all this.
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