Following a rumor from January that alleged that Apple was hard at work on improving its Maps app for the release of iOS 8, a new report has surfaced that reaffirms that claim and adds a bit more detail on how the effort is progressing.
Sources speaking to 9to5Mac say that Apple engineers have been working improve the data of the iOS Maps app to make it more reliable. Some of the new pieces of information that are being added to the app include additional points of interest and more labels for things like airports, bus stops and freeways. The design of the maps are also said to be receiving some tweaks in order to make them cleaner and to make streets easier to see.
Another major feature that's said to be coming with Maps in iOS 8 is transit directions. This feature will reportedly be deeply integrated into the Maps app, giving users access to bus, subway and train data as well as improved directions to airports. It's expected that transit directions will be made available for major cities like New York and San Francisco first and then roll out to other U.S. cities and more countries later on.
The transit directions that Apple is reportedly working on will allow the user to select from multiple routes, each of which will display information related to departure and arrival times as well as the mode of transportation used. Other features of the transit app include the ability to set departure for a later date and receive the directions at that time as well as an option to make transit directions the default method of travel when the Maps app is opened.
Looking ahead, Apple is reportedly also planning to add features like indoor mapping and augmented reality to its Maps app. One specific feature that's said to be in the works is the ability to use augmented reality and the iPhone's compass to easily find points of interest. However, this functionality isn't expected to be delivered to users for some time.
Overall it sounds like Apple has some big plans for its own Maps app. The company received quite a bit of flak for the poor performance of the Maps app after it launched with iOS 6, so much so that Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a public apology and promised that the experience would improve. We'll have to wait until the launch of iOS 8 to find out how much better Maps can be and whether or not it can compete with Google Maps for cartographic supremacy, but for now the news that Apple is planning to add transit directions to Maps should please many iPhone owners.
Which mapping application do you iOS folk primarily use on your devices?