Apple Maps: iPhone company hopes revamped mapping app will outperform Google Maps


This has been Apple’s Achilles heel – the feature preinstalled on iPhones that some users simply refuse to use. A huge update could change that.

Apple has relaunched one of its biggest iPhone features that should – finally – make it more competitive with Google’s nemesis.

As of today, Australia has access to the heavily revamped Apple Maps app. The company presents it as the “best way to navigate the world”.

Lots of new features – including more details, information about public transport and the date of traffic jams, and a Street View equivalent – mean Apple’s app is now on par with Google’s goliath. Maps.

Apple offers features it says are ahead of its competition, including Flyover, which allows users to become like Superman and fly over a number of Australian cities and places created by stitching together thousands of photos.

Apple also makes a big part of its privacy policy which it says is “at the heart of the Maps experience”.

Apple Maps now comparable to Google Maps

Despite its leadership position in phones in Australia, which data analysts Statista estimate at 56%, Apple’s Maps app has struggled to gain as many users as its rival Google Maps.

While usage data for different apps is hard to pin down, research based on results from analytics firm ComScore suggests that in the United States – where Apple has a handset share similar to Australia’s. – iPhone users were twice as likely to turn to Google Maps as Apple’s. Plans. This is despite the fact that Apple Maps is already installed on the new handsets.

Part of the reason for this lackluster response to previous versions of Maps will have been the poorer user experience offered compared to Google.

But the firm says everything is about to change in the new version.

“Apple Maps is the best way to explore and navigate the world, while protecting your privacy,” said Eddy Cue, Australia’s head of services at Apple.

“The map has been completely rebuilt, with better navigation, richer details, more precise location information and great features that only Apple can provide. “

Rather than relying on existing maps, Apple mapped all of Australia from scratch for the revamped app.

Apple’s response to Street View

He also took pictures of just about every street in Australia – with cameras attached to cars or in backpacks – for his Look Around feature.

It’s similar to Google’s Street View. Apple Maps automatically displays the street photo as a pane that users can then expand across the page. Like Street View, Look Around can be viewed in 360 degrees.

All the favorite places are there – the main CBDs, suburbs and regional towns. But Apple has gone further with the backcountry town of Cooper Pedy available to see on Look Around as well as across the Nullarbor Freeway.

The flyby is described as a unique feature that offers “a photorealistic immersive 3D view of some metro centers”.

“Users can move their device around space to see a city from above or explore in high resolution by zooming, panning, tilting and rotating the city and its landmarks. “

Like Google, Apple now offers real-time traffic jam data on its maps as well as information on public transport.

The audible travel direction feature, which guides people to a destination, has also been updated with “more natural sound directions”.

So, for example, rather than Siri telling drivers to “turn left in 200 yards”, the automated voice could now say, “At the next traffic light, turn left.”

Apple made great use of the privacy features on the redesigned app.

“Privacy is at the heart of the Maps experience,” the company said. No login is required to use the app, and Apple uses a process it calls “fuzzing” to hide user map data gleaned from their device.

Apple is hoping that the app’s functionality will be enough to persuade people who like to use Apple as a phone to also use Apple Maps as a mapping tool.

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