iOS 8 reportedly doubling down on Maps, transit, experimenting with augmented reality

iOS 8 reportedly doubling down on Maps, transit, experimenting with augmented reality

iOS 8, code-named Okemo is currently under active development at Apple. While it won't get anywhere nearly the visual refresh iOS 7 did it will continue to iterate and improve existing features, add new ones, and even add some old ones back. Mark Gurman reporting for 9to5Mac:

Thanks to extensive engineering work and acquisitions of several companies such BroadMap, Embark, and HopStop, Apple’s database for iOS Maps will be upgraded with enhanced data so it is more reliable, according to sources. The new application will also be injected with new points of interests and new labels to make places such as airports, parks, train stations, bus stops, highways, and freeways easier to find, the sources added. Sources also say that the mapping application’s cartography design has been tweaked to be slightly cleaner and to make streets more visible.

Gurman also says Apple will be adding public transit to the Maps app, something it lost when Apple switched away from Google's map data with iOS 6. I've been hearing the same thing for a while now and it makes sense given a) it's an obvious hole to fill, and b) it takes time to acquire that kind of data. Gurman, however, is reporting details on how Apple will be displaying the transit directions, including a new map view.

What's more, Gurman says indoor mapping is in the works, and beyond that, augmented reality to overlay data on top of nearby points-of-interest. No word on whether that last one will make it into iOS 8 or is being worked on for a future version of iOS.

Check out the rest of the article for more and then come back and let me know — what do you want Apple to improve in iOS 8 Maps?

Source: 9to5Mac

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 39 comments. Add yours.

IIJBII says:

Improvements are great, but I've always has decent luck with Apple's maps app.

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paulg1978 says:

I'd love to be able to set standard apps. Such as if I prefer Chrome over Safari or Google Maps over apple Maps. This way when I click on a link it brings me to chrome as default (should I prefer chrome). Also, I'd like the choice to delete some of the standard apps (keep them inactive like Facebook and twitter before you choose to install them). Same thing with mail. Would there be a way to choose the default cloud storage(s) of my choice? A dedupe feature would be swell also since I'm asking for the moon!

TomW093 says:

You just described Android

Premium1 says:

Well about time. And hopefully IOS8 is not as buggy as IOS7 was.

Rene Ritchie says:

Widgets are the floppy disks of interface.

Vanti says:

I hope that they won't focus the entire Os around maps. It would be a shame if they assigned the os a new number and all they did was bring their maps app up to speed with everyone else's.

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Premium1 says:

Agree. I would see that as more of a .x. Update than deserving of an entire new in this case ios8 moniker.

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rogifan says:

Who said the only changes in iOS 8 would be maps?

Only_Jadon says:

It's supposed to be health and stuff

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Hollyw0od says:

Apple Maps just sent me to a Wyndham in Orlando literally in the middle of a very undesirable area. How have they not fixed this POS yet

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rogifan says:

Forstall dug a hole a little too deep?

txchou says:

What I would like to see in Apple Maps:
- option allowing default to avoid tolls, ferries and highways etc The only reason I still use Google Maps
- alerts for speed cameras and red light cameras (in Australia if already available elsewhere). The only reason I still use TomTom's navigation app.

crazygonzo says:

Unimpressive. I hope those disturbing/dire news won't prove to be right and Apple doesn't focus entirely on the Maps like they did in 2012. iOS 8 is starting to sound like an afterthought similar to iOS 6 (which was a sad fart of an update).
Excuse my concerns but right now Healthbook alone doesn't inspire me strongly, nor does improving Siri/Maps (nice but again ?) and finally tossing in some forgotten leftovers convince me to buy a new device. Mobile payments with TouchID will be utterly useless on a tablet and looking at how low the realistic expectations already are those features can be almost all that this year will bring, knowing Apple they'll also add the missing Guest Mode because it serves them well (especially in educational sector).
So optimistic scenario is that it's the story and recycled ideas we know - iOS 7 Strikes Back with some polish (beefed up security/privacy, password protected folders etc.), tiny tweaks here and there (AirDrop with Macs, FaceTime group calls).
When I think about major enhancements and fresh elements (their tentpoles strategy at stage presentations) here I see only 3 unconfirmed things right now: Health, Mobile Payments, Guest Mode. That leaves room for a few but I'm afraid they won't introduce a lot of new possibilities and we still won't experience split screen apps or better file management. Of course Apple will probably find a way to remove those on older devices, I'm guessing 'two apps at once' (if it even debuts in the coming months) availability will be limited (A7/A8 chip only ?). They should be ashamed to even mention Maps and to sell the same thing twice like they did with Siri or multitasking. Windows 8 = revolutionary iOS 8 = infinite letdown ?

SockRolid says:

TL;DR. But yeah, sounds like Microsoft astroturf.
As if people still cared about Microsoft.

crazygonzo says:

Thanks, I tried my best. Still haven't forgiven them iOS6.

Rene Ritchie says:

Apple typically announces 6-8 "tent pole" features per new iOS version. Even if all of these reports are accurate, they're only 1 or 2 of them.

Steady! Steady...!

BranceCornwell says:

I'm really hoping one of those 6-8 features is quick reply in the stock messaging app, bitesms style. Please, Apple.

MrJustastic says:

yay... maps... I will contain my excitment...

really hoping iOS8 will bring AppleTV and AirPlay improvements for gaming and the like as that would be a landmark feature. But mapping is what this article is about so I won't digress further.

Dev from tipb says:

The #1 thing I want is the ability to specify a different provider. If Apple truly wants to double down, they will expose their own apps to competition and force them to get better quickly.

Rene Ritchie says:

Does anyone do that besides Android? I have to remember to check and see if I can choose different default apps on Windows Phone or BlackBerry 10.

buylocal_getaBB says:

Not sure about windows bit bb10 does allow this

Posted via the Android iMore App because my phone gave me android for free

cardfan says:

Only because BB doesn't have much of their own to offer..

buylocal_getaBB says:

Much to offer? What are you referring too, I'm a little confused. Android sandbox has all but closed the app gap, and other than there is really nothing inferior about the platform (not counting voice control, it's horrible).

And beyond that, it doesn't change the fact that bb10 obviously offers at least a few things iOS does not currently. Current subject aside, nfc and expandable memory are 2 must haves, come on now it's the 21st century.

Posted via the Android iMore App because my phone gave me android for free

chuthan20 says:

Most of android apps uses google services, which you don't get in BB

buylocal_getaBB says:

currently have 13 android apps installed on my z30 and all work perfectly. Granted some highly sought after apps rely on google services, but hardly most.

Prem WatsApp says:

Good to see you here. ;-)

Competition is always good for business and the users.

buylocal_getaBB says:

and you as well. didn't know you played on this side of the pond ;)

Dev from tipb says:

BB yes, Windows no. It is still good policy in Apps for the same reason competition is good for phones in general - more competition yields more pressure to improve. Conversely, shielding from pressure allows stagnation. From Gruber, quoting Paul Graham:

"...Meanwhile the iPhone is selling better than ever. So why do they need to fix anything?

Later on, Graham captures what it is that gives me The Fear:

An organization that wins by exercising power starts to lose the ability to win by doing better work.

I wish I’d written that sentence."

This was about App Store policies which have since evolved in response to pressure, but if anything it is more true for technical/design concerns.

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moroboshi says:

Every once in a while, mostly out of morbid curiosity, I try Apple maps. It's slightly better than it used to be (here in the UK), but still leagues behind Google. The main areas where it's lacking, are local business search (Google seems to know of far, far more businesses), and of course, no street view. Traffic data also seems rather lacking.

The much hyped 3D aerial view seems to have gone nowhere, as Apple have only bothered to generate UK data for a very small selection of cities. It's no substitute for street view.

Derrick4Real says:

i use google maps 99% of the time. I'm not a apple maps hater but i'm constantly amazed at how many times when i click on apple's maps it simply doesn't get the job done. One, when i need it it has a bad habit of not locating me on the map. I just sits triangulating. I click Google and boom it pops up. No idea why. Second, is the typical bad info. I used it a few months ago. Why i don't know. I sometimes click whatever map app icon i see first. I had to go to a close friends Memorial service in the middle of Los Angeles on a street that's probably been in there for 80+ years if not longer. Apple sent me the wrong direction and to a mall. Luckily i was on the right street but damn. A gut wrenchingly emotional day, i'm scared i'll be late, it was not pleasant when i was lost driving around. Not to mention i had others in the car with me. I knew something was wrong because though apple had me going one direction the numbers were going the away from the address. I put in the church name in google and it popped up. I was correct it was the other way. I turned around and we made it on before the service started.

Then recently in the car i'm driving and i got lost. I know the street and the general area and i'd been to the location so i just wanted to navigate to the general area. I'm thinking, open app, swipe a few blocks over to the general area, hold down on spot and it will ask to navigate there and i'll hit ok. Quick and easy. Nope. I open the apple app and again it's can't find me. Block after block after block and it's still thinking. i open google and boom it's got me. i swipe, drop pin, navigate and hit start. In the end it took so damn long i was only a few blocks a way and all the guesses on turns i took while waiting ended up being correct. I didn't need the maps by then but google worked.

And honestly, street view is a godsend because i knew google maps was correct. Google maps is my go to navigation app. There is no substitute for good data or streetview.

Prem WatsApp says:

Google simply has much more data available to draw upon. Users generate up-to-date data every day.

Derrick4Real says:

I'm sure that fact is true. That said, that doesn't excuse bad data. I mean they didn't have an address for a large church on a major Los Angeles street, in the middle of Los Angeles too. What i entered into apple maps was simply the correct address. Regardless, if you want lots of users you can't afford to be wrong. And maybe they need to add a way for users to edit data. I offered a correction to days after it came out and i found out how. A month later the business was still in the wrong place, thus if you searched by name you ended up in the wrong spot, coincidentally you ended up i a nearby church.

And i just checked. lol. The info is STILL wrong. It still shows you the church. luckily i know exactly where it is and it's just a gas station. So almost a year and a half after i told apple about the incorrect map data and showed them they still haven't fixed the error. lol. Yeah they're pretty inept.

cardfan says:

I would hope Maps gets improvements as well as other areas of iOS. That said, I don't care about transit. But it's not like Apple is ignoring the car drivers.

The best part about iOS is knowing a big update preview is coming as it does each year followed by the hardware optimized for it.

mulasien says:

So Apple is buying some more mapping companies and using their data, it appears.

IMHO, the main problem with Apple Maps (especially compared to Google Maps) is:

1. If you spot a mistake in Google Maps, you can submit a correction and Google has a pretty good track record of addressing it in a somewhat timely manner. I've submitted error reports to Apple over a year ago and the data is still incorrect. The subdivision a mile north of me has half of its roads missing, and has been that way since day one. Apple must have pulled in REALLY old mapping data for that neighborhood and have not updated it since.

2. Whereas Apple is pulling in their mapping data from third party sources, Google actually commits the resources to get people on the ground and map the world out themselves. Until Apple invests enough in their maps to actually get people on the ground instead of relying on (sometimes outdated) third party data, they will always have old, inaccurate mapping data compared to Google. They're simply not committing the resources that Google is.

Trappiste says:

Apple delivering accurate maps? One wonders if Hell shall freeze over before that happens. I believe it when I see it. Till then, Maps is and remains the industry joke. Why cannot they just start buying mapping data from Nokia like everyone else is doing, now that they no longer compete directly?

Gus2259 says:

I just used Apple maps for a better part of a week in Orlando. Accessed them via Siri. Had absolutely no issue with them. They find and load faster than my Garmin 2595LMT unit. The only incorrect addresses I've found since Apple maps became available were one where the previously existing golf course was replaced by a residential development and one where a restaurant was shown incorrectly to be in an office complex.

I have had similar errors using Google, Mapquest services as well as Gramin and Magellan GPS units. All mapping services have errors and the databases are always in need of updating due to the ever changing coming and going of businesses.

Apple does need to add more points of interest and public transit. Indoor mapping such as malls would be great but again those would be constantly changing as well.