Maps In iOS 10: A Major Improvement

Maps in iOS has been a point of contention since Apple started to do mapping on it’s own. There have been instances of people being directed onto runways, and suggestions not to use it because it could get you killed. But as time has gone on, Apple Maps has improved, and iOS 10 has provided some of the biggest leap forward in Apple Maps yet. For starters, there’s this:

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One of the things that has been a problem with Apple Maps was the lack of ability avoid tolls and highways, which are common features in stand alone GPS units as well as the ones that are built into cars. If you were not paying attention, you could easily pick a route that led onto a toll road. Now this setting avoids that possibility. Another feature that is new and cool is this one:

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Note the option that says “Show Parked Location”. When your iPhone disconnects from CarPlay or from the Bluetooth system in your car, your iPhone will automatically do a grab of the GPS location that you parked in. It will also make a notification appear that allows you to take a picture which is handy if the iPhone cannot get a GPS location because you’re underground or in a location where the signal is weak.

I had the chance to use transit directions last week and the look and feel has really improved:

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Directions are clear and the graphics and text are very good looking. In fact, one of the biggest advancements in Maps is that the graphics and text are much better than in the past. You can set options in terms of the modes of public transit that you can choose from:

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One thing to keep in mind is that not all corners of planet Earth access to to transit directions. But more are being added all the time.

Another of the biggest changes is the fact that it is more helpful of before:

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You can not only search for an address, but it also list what it thinks are locations that are useful to you. And they actually are from what I can tell. The final way that Apple Maps can actually support detours:

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You can actually add a detour to your route, say to a gas station, food or coffee, and it will direct you to the location that you choose as well as showing how much time it adds to your trip. You’ll also note a blue “Resume Route” bar at he top that allows you to continue on your original journey. One other note, I have found the traffic support to be better than in previous iterations of Apple Maps. Information about traffic can be used to not only plot the most optimal route, but it can re-route you if traffic conditions along your route get worse as it updates in almost real time. How? Apple gathers traffic data the same way Google does, anonymously from your iDevice and other iDevices in the area. The difference is that they don’t make money off of that info like Google does.

These latest changes to Apple Maps address a lot of functionality that was missing from previous iterations. Add to that the fact that third party apps can now access Apple Maps the way that the built in apps on your iPhone do, which means that your experience with Apple Maps is about to be enhanced further, it’s going to be hard to beat Apple Maps going forward. 

 

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