Apple Maps has received a significant update that addresses privacy concerns, offers lane guidance, and allows users to share lists of locations.
As more and more riders realize mobile devices offer much of the same functionality as standalone GPS units, they’re switching to navigation software built into their smartphones. Google Maps, which is available for both Android and iOS phones, holds about two-thirds of the market, with the rest taken up by Waze (another Google product), Sygic, OSMand, and a host of other independently-developed apps. And then, there’s Apple Maps.
Apple Maps has often been panned since its launch in 2012. It has lagged behind Google Maps in key areas, without the same usability or the same amount of information. However, the latest update is supposed to solve many of those issues, as well as tighten up privacy.
Now, to use the app, you don’t have to sign in, so the data isn’t tied to your location; after 24 hours, Apple’s software also scrambles the data indicating the location where the search originated from, making it less precise.
That’s a feature that may seem more useful to Mossad operatives than adventure riders, but motorcyclists may have more use for the new street view and bird’s eye view. The app also features a new lane guidance mode, to help navigate busy roads. There’s also a new feature that lets users save a list of favourite locations and share them.
Several of the other features (enhanced interior navigation for large buildings, like airports, transit schedules) are likely of more interest to pedestrians.
Apple says it sent cars and airplanes over four million miles to gather the data for the updated Maps app. The updated app is only available in the US now, but is being rolled out into other countries in coming months.