Report: iOS 8 Is All About Making Maps Better

Illustration for article titled Report: iOS 8 Is All About Making Maps Better

Everybody knows what a disaster Apple Maps were at launch. To borrow one former Gizmodo writer's words, they were "an apocalyptic horror show." They have gotten better since the initial disaster, but it's no surprise to hear reports that the next version of iOS all about making Apple Maps even better.


Sources told 9to5Mac that iOS 8 will feature lots of "under-the-hood changes," including an overhaul to the Maps application. Using data from recently acquired startups like BroadMap, Embark, and HopStop, Apple will reportedly highlight points of interest like airports, train stations, and freeways. And the company will finally bring back public transit directions.

This is great news. It's actually a little hard to believe that Apple didn't have public transit directions for so long. It's so hard to believe that when you see 9to5Mac's mock ups of what it might look like, you'll have a hard time believing those features weren't already there.

Illustration for article titled Report: iOS 8 Is All About Making Maps Better

Basically, transit will get a new tab alongside driving and walking directions. Patents suggest that Apple might also enhance maps further by adding an augmented reality option which sounds neat. But seriously, let's just make sure Apple can tell whether you're in New York City versus not Adelaide, Australia before we get too fancy.

9to5Mac also says that Apple will also be adding a new app called Healthbook which we can only imagine will sync up with the fitness tracker of your choice. Feel free to use this opportunity to gossip more about an iWatch, though. [9to5Mac]


Mock up of iOS 8 by Michael Steeber / 9to5Mac


Call me crazy (and I'm sure someone will), but I like iOS Maps. Is it perfect? No. Neither is Google Maps or any other application. While there are some legitimate complaints, I think the faults are largely overplayed by the media, including Gizmodo, as well as by people who don't even use iOS, but enjoy bad press directed at Apple.

Again, this isn't to say there are not faults (so don't feel the need to list your particular quibbles), but it's hardly the unmitigated disaster it's made out to be, at least in my experience. And, it's very likely that there wouldn't have been an updated Google Maps app for iOS, or that it would have come much later, if Apple hadn't gone their own route (har har) starting with iOS 6. So, either way, we win.