Apple Maps Focuses on Groceries, Food Delivery, Pharmacies and Hospitals When Searching

Apple has updated the search feature in the Apple Maps app to focus on categories that are most important to people right now: groceries, food delivery, pharmacies, hospitals, and urgent care.


These category options come up first when searching, coming ahead of restaurants, fast food, gas stations, banks, and other categories that used to be higher priority in the list.

Places that are currently closed, such as shopping centers, are at the bottom of the search category list. These changes were first noticed by German site iPhone Ticker, which also points out similar changes that have been made in the Google Maps app.

Google Maps has gone even further than ‌Apple Maps‌, letting users know when a business is closed or has shorter hours. The app also warns users to call a doctor before visiting a medical location.
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Job Listing Suggests Recommendations Are Coming to Apple Maps App

Apple recently listed a new Writer/Editor job for the Maps app, which appears to suggest that Apple is planning to build an App Store-like location recommendation feature for Maps.


As noted by The Verge, the job listing, which has since been removed, says that Apple is looking for a person to "help build and grow a brand-new content category for the Apple Maps team," with that person responsible for curating content that helps people explore their communities and find places to visit.
[Apple] is looking for someone to help build exciting and engaging editorial content to help Maps users explore their world. Whether that's locally, or when they're planning an amazing vacation.
Qualifications for the job include an "insatiable curiosity for discovering new places and a passion for telling the world in an engaging manner," "knowledge of food, travel, and shopping trends," and "strong editing skills to help craft engaging digital content."

In the App Store, Apple has a "Today" feature that highlights curated app-related content, and it's possible that in the future, Maps could offer something similar.


Such a role could also focus on making the ‌Apple Maps‌ app more independent of third-party services like Yelp and Wikipedia, which Apple uses to provide reviews and information about points of interest.

Google Maps, one of Apple's main competitors in the mapping space, has a Local Guides service in select cities that's designed to help people find places to visit in new locations, plus there are recommendations provided through a For You tab and a built-in option for polling friends for suggestions on places to go.


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Apple Maps Expands 3D Street View Feature to Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

As noted in the MacRumors forums, the new Look Around feature in Apple Maps recently went live in three more cities in the United States, including Boston, Philadelphia, and the Washington, D.C. area.

Introduced in iOS 13, Look Around is an interactive way to visually explore a city with 3D street-level imagery, similar to Google Street View. The feature is also available in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas, Houston, and the Hawaiian island of Oahu, with many more places to come.


In an area where Look Around is available, a binoculars icon will appear in the top-right corner of Apple Maps. Tapping that icon opens a street-level view in a card overlay at the top of the screen. Look Around also appears in the search results for a supported city, below the Flyover and Directions buttons.

When you're in Look Around mode, tapping on the display lets you move through the area, while tapping in a far off spot in the distance zooms in quickly in a smoother and more immersive way than Google Street View.

To help orient you in Look Around mode, points of interest such as bars, restaurants, parks and the like are identified by floating icons at street level. Note, however, that you can only zoom into areas that can be accessed by vehicles since the Look Around data is captured by cars fitted with 360-degree cameras.

Related: How to Use Look Around in Apple Maps


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Apple Maps Transit Directions Go Live in Various EU Countries

Over the last 48 hours, Apple Maps has expanded its transit directions coverage across Europe. Using the app, travelers in cities across France, Germany, Spain, and possibly other countries in the EU are now able to access departure times and transit routes for various modes of public transport including buses, trams, metro trains, and more.


Screenshot credit: @guillamet

Apple has yet to update its official list of locations for which Maps offers Transit data, possibly because some of the real-time information is still being deployed. There have been a few reports that some cities in the aforementioned countries are still displaying uneven transit coverage.

Google Maps has supported transit directions for several years now, but ‌‌Apple Maps‌‌ has been steadily catching up with detailed routing information in recent years.

Transit coverage began in 2015 with an initial rollout in Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and China. Since then, Apple has expanded the feature to many other regions around the world.

(Thanks, Mauricio!)


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Apple Confirms Redesigned Maps App Has Rolled Out to All Users Across United States

Apple today confirmed that its redesigned Maps app is now available for all users across the United States, offering better road coverage, more accurate pedestrian data, more precise addresses, and more detailed views of roads, parks, buildings, airports, and more.

Apple began testing an expansion of the new Maps app to the Southeast and Central United States in late December, which were the final two regions to get the Maps app, but the full rollout was not completed until today.


In an article announcing the completed launch of the new Maps app, Apple's vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue said that Apple is "deeply invested" in creating the "best and most private" maps app in the world.
"We set out to create the best and most private maps app on the planet that is reflective of how people explore the world today. It is an effort we are deeply invested in and required that we rebuild the map from the ground up to reimagine how Maps enhances people's lives -- from navigating to work or school or planning an important vacation -- all with privacy at its core. The completion of the new map in the United States and delivering new features like Look Around and Collections are important steps in bringing that vision to life. We look forward to bringing this new map to the rest of the world starting with Europe later this year."
Along with announcing the new design features in the Maps app, Apple highlighted Maps features added in iOS 13 such as the street-level Look Around view, which is available in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston and Oahu, plus Collections, for creating lists of favorite places.

Favorites, another new ‌iOS 13‌ feature, lets users save directions for places that are frequently visited, while other major Maps features include Share ETA, flight status info, indoor maps for malls and airports, Siri natural language guidance for directions that are easier to follow, and real-time transit information in cities that include San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.

Apple also shared details on the privacy features built into the Maps app. Maps is not connected to the Apple ID, personalized features are all done on-device, data collected by Maps is associated with random identifiers that continually reset, and Apple servers "fuzz" location searches by converting precise locations where searches originated to a less-exact location after 24 hours.

With the rollout of the new Maps completed in the United States, Apple plans to also bring the redesign to Europe "in the coming months."


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Revamped Apple Maps Expands to the Southeast and Central United States, Completing Rollout

Apple in December began testing an expansion of its more detailed Apple Maps app in the Central and Southeastern parts of the United States, along with Alaska, and that updated Maps content is now rolling out to all customers.

The revamped Maps app features more extensive geographical details, with updated buildings, roads, parks, sports fields, parking lots, foliage, pools, pedestrian pathways, and bodies of water.


To get its mapping data, Apple uses its own vehicles equipped with LIDAR sensors and cameras. Apple has been using this method to collect mapping information for years now.

Apple began rolling out its updated mapping app to customers starting in iOS 12, and at the 2019 Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple said all customers in the United States would receive the improved Maps app by the end of the year.

Apple has made good on that promise with the rollout of the new mapping terrain to large swathes of the United States, and the updated Maps are now available across most of the country. It could still take some time for all users in the Central and Southeastern areas of the U.S. to see the new content.

Apple plans to bring the new Maps app to additional countries in 2020.

(Thanks, @tricil and @NateThompson!)


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Apple Maps Revamp Rolls Out Widely in Western and Midwestern United States

In June 2018, Apple announced that its Maps app would be rebuilt "from the ground up" with more accurate details like grass and trees, pools, parking lots, exact building shapes, sports areas like baseball diamonds and basketball courts, and pedestrian pathways that are commonly walked but previously unmapped.

Apple Maps with revamped data in Western and Midwestern U.S. via Justin O'Beirne

The revamped Apple Maps experience first rolled out to Northern California during iOS 12 beta testing last year and has since extended to Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, parts of the Gulf Coast, and several Northeast states such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

The expansion continued this week, as Apple has finished its rollout of the improved maps in parts of the West and Midwest regions of the United States. This includes Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, and parts of Illinois and Indiana.

Justin O'Beirne has fantastic coverage of the Apple Maps revamp, noting that the improved maps now cover 27 states fully and another six states partially. In June, Apple said the improved maps would cover the entire United States by the end of 2019, followed by additional countries in 2020.

As usual, some users will see the revamped maps in their region sooner than others, so we wait until the rollout has extended more widely to report the news. If you do not see the improved data yet, give it some time.

(Thanks to Matt, Frank, Noah, Alan, and all others who tipped us!)


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Apple’s Maps Revamp Creeps into Midwest U.S.

Apple's Maps app rebuild continues its journey across North America this week, with the company following its pattern of rolling out the enhanced maps in adjacent continental U.S. states.

Before (left) and after – Midwest maps comparison via Reddit user 999999797

Apple has been deploying the enhanced maps up the northeast United States over the last few months, with the rollout recently extending to New York state. Now it has expanded west to cover West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and North Illinois.

You can spot the updated regions by looking for more landscape details like sports fields, parking lots, ground cover, foliage, pools, pedestrian pathways and the like.

The data is gathered by Apple's own fleet of sensor- and camera-equipped vehicles, as well as first-party data gathered from iPhones using Apple's differential privacy. The combined data is also being made to ensure search results are more relevant.


The improvements initially rolled out in Northern California in July 2018, followed by Hawaii and Southern California in November 2018, and Arizona, New Mexico, and the Las Vegas metropolitan area in April 2019.

At WWDC 2019, Apple said the updated maps will roll out to the entire United States by the end of the year, followed by additional countries in 2020.

(Thanks, Brian!)


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iOS 13 ‘Look Around’ Maps Feature Expands to Los Angeles and New York City

Look Around, a new iOS 13 Maps feature that's designed to provide a street level view of what's around you similar to Google's Street View is now available in Los Angeles and New York City.

At launch and during the iOS 13 beta testing period, Look Around in Maps was limited to the Bay Area of California, Las Vegas, and parts of Hawaii, but Apple is working to expand it to additional locations.


Look Around can be used across New York City, from Manhattan and the Bronx to Brooklyn and Queens, and it is also available in Los Angeles from Burbank to Long Beach to Pomona. It's not yet available in Anaheim, Riverside, and other cities further south.

Look Around can be used in the main Apple Maps view whenever there's a pair of binoculars visible. Tapping the binoculars icon launches into a close-up street level view of your location in a little card, which can be tapped again to get a full screen view of Look Around.

Look Around can also be brought up when searching for specific supported locations by tapping on the Look Around card in the search results.

When you're in Look Around mode, tapping on the display lets you move through the area, while tapping in a far off spot in the distance zooms in quickly in a little zoom maneuver that's fun to watch.


In Look Around mode, notable points of interest like restaurants, businesses, parks, and more are highlighted, but the view is limited to what can be captured from the street since it uses data captured from Apple's mapping vehicles.

Look Around will be expanding to additional locations in 2019 and 2020, and Apple is also still in the process of rolling out its updated maps. Just this morning, the updated maps feature came to New York City right ahead of Look Around.

For those interested in where the new Maps are available and where Look Around is rolling out, the MacRumors forums has a long thread where members share information when new maps features come to additional areas.

(Thanks, Alan and our other MacRumors forum members!)


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Revamped Apple Maps Rollout Reaches New York City

Apple on Monday began rolling out a major update to its New York City coverage in the Maps app, boosting geographical details and correcting numerous errors in the process, according to the New York Post.


The update should see an increase in details on buildings, roads, parks, sports fields, parking lots, ground cover, foliage, pools, pedestrian pathways, and bodies of water.

For example, users looking at Central Park should now see individual baseball diamonds and more detailed footpaths, while buildings are more accurately rendered in the 3D mode thanks to new flight technology to better depict elevations.

Apple may still be rolling out the changes to its servers, as some Reddit users report that the appearance of the new coverage remains patchy and seems to depend on zoom level.

Apple has been deploying the enhanced maps up the northeast United States over the last few months, rolling them out in a stepwise fashion in adjacent continental U.S. states.

The last update brought enhanced maps to the likes of Washington D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and Maine.

The data is gathered by Apple's own fleet of sensor- and camera-equipped vehicles, as well as first-party data gathered from iPhones using Apple's differential privacy. The combined data is also being made to ensure search results are more relevant.

At WWDC 2019, Apple said the updated maps will roll out to the entire United States by the end of the year, followed by additional countries in 2020.


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