Apple yesterday made the surprising announcement that it is in the process of rebuilding Apple Maps from the ground up. The move comes six years after the original introduction of Apple Maps, the launch of which went anything but smoothly.
Now, Apple says it is committed to rebuilding Apple Maps without reliance on any third-party data providers.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Apple’s VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue explained that the company is focused on building “the best map app in the world.” Furthermore, Apple wants to do this using its own mapping data, not a combination of external data providers.
Apple is collecting its data from iPhone users in an anonymous fashion, as well as through the Apple Maps vans we have seen driving across the United States in recent years:
“We specifically don’t collect data, even from point A to point B,” notes Cue. “We collect data — when we do it —in an anonymous fashion, in subsections of the whole, so we couldn’t even say that there is a person that went from point A to point B.
We’re collecting the segments of it. As you can imagine, that’s always been a key part of doing this. Honestly, we don’t think it buys us anything [to collect more]. We’re not losing any features or capabilities by doing this.”
Apple, however, faces stiff competition in the mapping industry from the likes of Google Maps and Waze. Whether or not Apple’s completely overhauled Apple Maps will be able to compete head-on with those applications remains to be seen.
Personally, I generally rely on Google Maps more than Apple Maps. This is primarily due to the fact that Google Maps offers much superior walking directions where I live than Apple Maps does. I find Waze to be useful in certain instances, but I’m not a fan of the app design.
What about you? Which mapping application do you use? Do you think Apple Maps 2.0 could convince you to switch back? Let us know in the poll below and down in the comments!