I’m not sure if you’re aware, but the launch of Apple Maps went
poorly. After a rough first impression, an apology from the CEO,
several years of patching holes with data partnerships and some
glimmers of light with long-awaited transit directions and
improvements in business, parking and place data, Apple Maps is
still not where it needs to be to be considered a world class
Maps needs fixing.
Apple, it turns out, is aware of this, so it’s re-building the
maps part of Maps.
It’s doing this by using first-party data gathered by iPhones with
a privacy-first methodology and its own fleet of cars packed with
sensors and cameras. The new product will launch in San Francisco
and the Bay Area with the next iOS 12 Beta and will cover Northern
California by fall.
Panzarino was granted some extraordinary access, including an interview with Eddy Cue and a ride in one of Apple’s sensor-packed street vans. The new maps sound great, but the big question is how long will it take to roll them out everywhere. All Apple will say is that they’re starting with San Francisco next week (for iOS 12 beta users) and “northern California this fall”.