Apple and Google have been engaged in a head on battle from the time these two brands have ventured on similar product line. Whether it is their flagship smartphone, features of the operating systems developed by these two brands or any other products, they have been nudging each other for quite sometimes. Google already has a superior map data support for its user. So in the upcoming round, Apple has decided to throw back the challenge to Google by revamping iOS 8’s ‘Map Application’.
At present the top notch of Apple namely CEO Tim Cook, Senior Vice Presidents Craig Federighi and Eddy Cue and the head of the Map app Patrice Gautier are already using this app on iGadgets.The idea is that they can provide their useful insights,with regard to the improvisations they would love to see in this app as users, problems faced by them and other factors, before the upgraded version of this app and thus ensuring 100% customer satisfaction.
Peek in the Past Events
It was in the year 2012 that Apple first decided to launch its own Map app. Before that iDevices used to support Google Map. In the sixth edition of iOS, Apple’s in-house map app was launched, but it was absolutely faulty. Though its user interface had three dimensional images and was way to user –friendly, but the information was incorrect, it was affected by bugs and it didn’t support many features that are expected in a map app. Scott Forstall, the person in charge of developing Apple’s map app was expelled from his service when he refused to give justified rationale for the app’s defects. Even Richard Williamson, the engineering executive of iOS was expelled for his involvement in this app’s development.
After Scott Forstall’s departure, Gautier, Cue and Federighi have been persistently motivating the engineers at Apple,to redesign the map app of iOS so that it compete with Google map on equal ground both in terms of the UI and features. With iOS 7 major improvisations were introduced in iOS, but the engineers primarily focused on the design of the operating system and map app based on the style of Jony Ive.
We are absolutely sure that iOS 8 will also come up with major overhaul in the overall OS and specially the map app. But the developers have decided to maintain secrecy still now. Last year, we have seen Apple overtaking companies like Embark, BroadMap and HopStop which guarantee the fact that iDevice users are going to get access to accurate map transit data from this year onwards. Interesting changes will be also brought about in the user interface of the map app, for example places like bus stop, airport, stations, parks and other public places will come with labels so that the users can identify them easily. We have also heard that the cartographical design of the app has been redesigned to make the virtual map easier to interpret.
Google map has always been a genius when it comes to giving direction. The users need to feed information like from where and to which place they want to go, and a detailed route with the approximate time and probable means of transport will automatically appear on the screen. We have that Apple developers have also restructured the map app of iOS to support this feature. For integrating this particular feature on iOS 8, Apple is collaborating with several companies to acquire sufficient data to support transit feature.
Thus iOS 8 will be most trusted companion while you are trotting round the globe or have just landed in a new city. Just a few taps and all the probable transit data like bus, metro, trains, car and even walking will be available before you. Moreover detailed directions to reach airports can be also accessed using it. Initially, the maps of the metropolitan cities of US like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles will be available on iOS 8, but in just a matter of time this service will be also available for other cities of US and later on the world.
The users will have two ways to view the transit maps. Firstly, the directional way whereby the users can feed data to get direction using various means like bus, subway, trains or even walking. The other way is the mapping view whereby the map will exhibit the bus stops, airports and other public places of a particular area. On the mapping view, the users will have options to see a normal, satellite or hybrid view. Moreover, it will show the App Store in a particular area.
If a user seeks for direction using iOS 8 maps, then a dialog box opens up from the bottom of the webpage showing the probable routes to a place along with the icon of the means of transportation. If you the user has chosen bus or train or subway, then the departure and arrival time of it will be also mentioned along with the approximate travel time. While viewing the transit details, the screen is divided into two parts, one showing the map with routes and another showing the list of routes.
iPhone or iPad or iPod users can also access data of later travel using this app. They can also set a particular means of transport as default like car or bus for checking directions as that is going to help in getting access to data quickly. From this app, the users can also email the routes to their friends or family or acquaintance or share it on the social networking sites.
We have come to know that integration of the transit data is just the beginning in the process of improvising the map app. Many more unique features will be incorporated in it later on like seeing indoor mapping, better car integration and many more. Another feature that we expect to see in Apple’s map app in the upcoming years is ‘reality functionality’ i.e. the iGadgets will have the ability to automatically detect the place the users are in at a particular point of time and thereafter highlight the important places located nearby. For enabling this function, the hardware of the phone also needs to be upgraded.
Apart from iOS, the engineers are also focusing on upgrading the map app of OS X. We are hoping to see some changes in that OS as well.