large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Apple Maps changes reflect ‘new normal’ for millions

Apple is rejigging its Apple Maps app in order to meet the shifting priorities of users during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a change first spotted by iPhone Ticker, Apple has re-ordered the categories to place more essential services at the forefront.

So, for example, grocery stores now appear at the top of the list, while there’s a category for restaurants offering delivery services. There’s also a new category for medical supplies.

Prior to this shift, Apple had placed categories like gas stations, cafes and fast food offerings more prominently, but with large numbers of its user base now under some form of lockdown, people are likely to be seeking different things from the Maps app.

Related: Best iPhone 2020

These are positive steps for sure, but Apple hasn’t gone as far as Google in repurposing Maps for these trying times. Google Maps, for example, will tell users if a business has closed or has altered its operating hours during the pandemic. Apple Maps is still listing regular hours for those businesses, even if they’re closed down.

While Apple Maps now offers greater visibility for medical facilities, Google Maps goes a step farther by providing a warning for people to call a doctor before going out in public to address potential coronavirus symptoms.

Google is also providing data from Google Maps in an attempt to highlight where lockdowns are working and resulting in less movement from device owners, although there are some concerns over the privacy ramifications of Google tracking a society and monitoring its movements en mass (what else is new?).

That doesn’t mean to say Apple is slacking overall when it comes to the coronavirus response. The company has donated more than 20 million masks to frontline healthcare workers, is offering Apple Card owners the chance to defer payments, and has added a coronavirus questionnaire that’s available through the Siri voice assistant.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.