Rumour: Apple Maps to be revamped in iOS 8

Asking for transit directions in the existing version of Apple maps in iOS 7

Since the troubled launch of Apple Maps in iOS 6, iPhone and iPad users have complained of poor data and a lack of features such as transit directions. Google Maps continues to be ranked highly in the App Store chart as it seems to offer a far stronger service than Apple's counterpart. However, things may be changing, as a new report reveals that iOS 8 will drastically improve the app.

In a scoop from 9to5Mac, it has been suggested that recent acquisitions of firms such as BroadMap, Embark and HopStop will power more accurate data in a new version of Apple Maps. Not only will there be more point of interest markers, which hopefully will be in the right places, but the cartography will be improved to ensure efficient navigation. 

To get public transport information and directions on iOS now, a third party app is needed, as Apple Maps simply redirects users to the app store if they request transit information, but iOS 8 may change this. Sources say that transit mapping will be available in many major cities at launch and will pinpoint tube stations and bus stops similarly to how the old Google Maps app did. Users will allegedly be able to base their searches on a set time and date to make use of Apple's new timetable data.

Finally, Apple seem to be working on some form of augmented reality feature to highlight points of interest. 9to5Mac's sources point out that this may not surface in iOS 8, giving a more vague time frame of "the coming years." The feature will likely be similar to Layar's apps, which have offered the functionality for some time.

The launch of Apple maps in 2012 ultimately led to iOS head Scott Forstall leaving Apple in what was then described as a power struggle. Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, even published an open apology over the state of the application, which has improved over time, but still remains inconsistent internationally. With iOS 7.1 now available to the public, it is likely the company are in full swing working to ensure iOS 8 lives up to the high standards of their customers. The update will likely be announced at Apple's WWDC, in June.

Source: 9to5Mac

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Here's what I'd like to see in iOS 8:

-Have an undo option for 5 seconds after sending an eMail message.

-Use Bold text Show unread messages.

-Stretch the home screen folders to the bottom so we can see more than 9 apps per sheet.

-Have the Calendar icon tappable in the Notifications Center, so that it takes you directly to that day in the Calendar app.

-Add icons for weather on the lock screen and on Notification center, makes it much easier to read!

-Double tapping on the Assistive Touch should work as double tapping the Home button.

-Long hold a song name in the Music app, adds that song to a "Play Later" list.

-Search within Settings.

-Settings' App list to be Alphabetical.

-Multiple schedules for Do Not Disturb.

-Add different sort options in Notes.

-Make Calendar usable again.

-LOCK SCREEN
Add option to disable Siri *exclusive* (more so than currently) here and disable the ability to put phone on to airplane mode, until it's unlocked. This will help to track the phone should it get stolen.

-Also, if the show is about to lose power or the phone is able to get shut off, make it log this location in iCloud's Find my iPhone app.

For all the so called issues with Apple maps, when I was in Cyprus last week, the maps on my iPad with Apple maps was the only map that managed to show English alphabet street names and not Cyrillic. Not google and not my WP. Not a good enough reason to make me switch to iOS or anything but...

Apple maps work fine but their directory sucks. I can look up things and the info is either out dated or not found. I have to use Google maps on my iphone a lot for that reason.

As someone who uses google services more than apple's, I find their search results, mapping results etc to be overly monetised.

I haven't used Apple Maps too much... so I can't really comment on their accuracy.

But I vastly prefer Google Maps for one big reason:

I can easily search and save addresses from Google Maps on my computer and access them later from my iPhone.

MS and apple out cash google. Time to join forces and make a real map solution. Even better if it stars with open street maps. Gmaps stranglehold on innovation and competition would end fast if open street had better financial backing.

Apple Maps is vastly improved now compared to launch, but it's still far behind Google Maps.

I would trust it to take me to a street now but still not overly confident about POIs, as there's a lot of out of date and misplaced information.

I use Apple maps and I have no problem with it. I use it by default for everything but I really want Street View and of course it will never have that. I find Street View to be the perfect addition to a map and sometimes thats all I want.

Bern@rd said,
Plot twist: they add the start button back in iOS 8.1

Since they never had one to take away, that's quite an achievement.

iOS 8 must do list

#1 Fix all the childish icon

#2 Reduce overall whiteness of the app background and share sheet UI

#3 Further improve battery endurance

#4 Allow third party keyboard integration

#5 Airplane Schedule to reduce battery consumption.

#6 Avoid further flatten the overall iOS UI

lmaobox said,
Master of Earth must do list

#1 grow up

Imaobox, you know as good as everyone else that that's a goal that will never be archieved.

in the past i have seen some hiccups with Apple maps, not in the last year anyways... just like any project as big as a map system, there will always be bugs in the beginning.

i have to say that considering the headstart google has had on apple maps, apple is really sprinting to catch up, even though it doesn't feel like it right now. but if they're going to put this in cars, they'll essentially have to be better than de facto GPS units out there in addition to google maps.

with that said, i wish apple maps would put in the option of avoiding toll roads/highways. i hate following directions to some unknown place only to discover that step 8 is a toll highway. #1stworldproblems

I haven't had any issues with the maps in the places I've traveled. Though I'd like to point out that I've never used a perfect map program. From Nokia to Google, I've used many.

Edited by JHBrown, Mar 11 2014, 3:27pm :

Google Maps almost got me carjacked once. I remember Microsoft was working on some ghetto avoidance feature for GPS but civil rights groups started complaining. I think that would be a fantastic feature.

Pretty much this! People get so hung up on "hurr durr apple sucks" but disregard the over reliance people have on technology. I rarely use my GPS unless I somehow screwed up. Why? Because Google Maps has proven unreliable when my friends tell me they "know where they're going".

I've only relied on a GPS to help get my orientation. If I'm going anywhere, you better believe I've already checked out the layout to my trip along with optional routes in case I screw up.

Using my phone requires me to rely on Google, Android, and Sprint all working together to not screw me over. Those odds are NOT good.

Studio384 said,
In Australia, some people died because of Apple Maps sending them to the dessert instead of home.

Natural selection.

Studio384 said,
In Australia, some people died because of Apple Maps sending them to the dessert instead of home.

Apple maps killed people by sending them to eat chocolate cake? I must have missed that one.

Enron said,

Apple maps killed people by sending them to eat chocolate cake? I must have missed that one.

Yes it did, anyway:

In Australia, some people died because of Apple Maps sending them to the desert instead of home.

Last time I checked, it was illegal to use Apple Maps as navigation system in Australia, don't know if it's still so...

Studio384 said,
Yes it did, anyway:

In Australia, some people died because of Apple Maps sending them to the desert instead of home.

Last time I checked, it was illegal to use Apple Maps as navigation system in Australia, don't know if it's still so...

I've read stories that Apple Maps has left people stranded in Australia, and that police have discouraged people from using it, but I haven't heard of anyone dying because of it.

Studio384 said,
Yes it did, anyway:
In Australia, some people died because of Apple Maps sending them to the desert instead of home.

The desert is one thing, dessert is another.

Studio384 said,
In Australia, some people died because of Apple Maps sending them to the dessert instead of home.

########. Some people got lost but no-one actually died in Australia because of AM. Police did say it was possible though.

Apple fixed the core problem some time back, Apple maps now points to the towns rather than the centre of the council areas.

Yep, still has lots of problems and I hope they really improve things but it's definitely not going to be easy to catch up to Google.

I wonder, can't we have some platform agnostic public mapping service using up-to-date accurate governmental data?

Have been using iOS maps for the past year after the initial update/fixes and have not had any issues. I'm in the US though.

Romero said,
I wonder, can't we have some platform agnostic public mapping service using up-to-date accurate governmental data?

Apple maps initially only used government data and TomTom data. The government data was often wrong, leading people to get lost.

Rosyna said,
The government data was often wrong, leading people to get lost.
Is that so? Well on second thought can't say I'm surprised but surely the government data quality depends on the country involved.