According to unnamed sources cited by 9to5mac, Apple’s forthcoming iOS 8 will see a number of improvements to its mapping product across platforms. The site says the next Apple mobile OS will offer:
- Better and more complete points of interest and business data
- Public transit information and directions (rolling out first to major US cities)
Much of the discussion in the article is about subtle changes to the Apple Maps UI or functionality improvements coming with the new OS. Further out, says the report, are indoor maps and augmented reality: ”Apple has also begun work on augmented reality functionality that leverages the iPhone’s compass hardware to visually see nearby points of interest.”
Apple Maps dug a big trench for itself when it launched two years ago with incomplete data and flawed navigation. It was slammed by bloggers and the tech press for not living up to the hype it created for its new product.
Since the big mea culpa by CEO Tim Cook about maps the company has been steadily working to improve the overall user experience and accuracy of its data and navigation. As part of that initiative, Apple has acquired a number of mapping related companies in the past two years:
- WiFiSlam (indoor location)
While Apple trails Google in mobile maps usage the company isn’t that far behind (for a product with a troubled reputation). Apple has also helped open up the market and make new competition possible by breaking the perceived lock Google had on the mapping space.