Apple may be planning to update its much maligned Apple Maps app over the summer, bringing a new look and more importantly, public transport information and directions. This almost essential feature has long been part of Google Maps, which Apple removed as the standard map software on iOS when it introduced Apple Maps in 2013, but missing from Apple Maps.
The news comes from 9to5Mac, and the report quotes anonymous sources, who say the update could be part of iOS 9, and be introduced during Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC 2015. If all this is sounding strangely familiar, it’s because a similar plan was in place for WWDC 2014, but the Maps update was shelved allegedly due to complex internal politics, and the public transport feature not having a high enough level of coverage.
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Apparently, the new Apple Maps will come with train, subway, and bus route navigation, and a helpful trip planning feature. Visually, Apple Maps will make it easier to spot public transport stations by enlarging icons, and by adding a dedicated Transit view to accompany the general Standard, Hybrid, and Satellite views currently on offer.
There’s potentially good news on the coverage front, as the sources also tell 9to5Mac that new cities have been added to Apple’s public transport system, and it has spent time improving the data. A push notification system will be introduced to tell you when new cities are added, which indicates Apple plans to add new locations at a rapid rate.
While excellent news, many iPhone users have been put off by previous, negative experiences using Apple Maps, and are happily using the Google Maps app for iOS. Will the addition of public transport navigation be enough to sway you to try out Apple Maps again, or isn’t it enough to leave the safety of Google’s app?
Apple’s WWDC 2015 developer conference will take place between June 8 and June 12 this year.