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Apple drones will take flight in new bid to improve Maps app

It’s fair to say Apple’s Maps app has dramatically improved since its infamous introduction within iOS 6.

The company now has all of its buildings and bridges in the right places, not to mention newer features like lane guidance, speed limit indicators within turn-by-turn navigation and the excellent Do Not Disturb while driving feature.

However, many iPhone users still prefer Google Maps or Waze, also owned by Google.

Naturally, Apple isn’t happy with playing fiddle on its own devices and is embarking on the next great frontier in efforts to improve its mapping app. It is about to begin using drones to capture images from the sky.

The company is taking part in a US government pilot program where FAA restrictions on drone use have been loosened to promote business innovation in fields like parcel delivery and the delivery of emergency supplies.

Related: iOS 12

Apple’s mapping drones will take flight in North Carolina, which is one of ten new ‘light touch’ zones in the US, a Financial Times report has revealed.

“Apple collects both aerial and ground images around the world to improve Apple Maps and we will soon begin to capture additional aerial images in select areas using drones,” the company told the FT.

“Apple is committed to protecting people’s privacy including processing this data to blur faces and license plates prior to publication.”

As part of the same scheme, Uber is testing food deliveries in San Diego, California.

However, Amazon has been frozen out amid its ongoing feud with President Donald Trump. It had several applications rejected, despite its attempts to lead the way with the Prime Air delivery initiative.

“While it’s unfortunate the applications we were involved with were not selected, we support the administration’s efforts to create a pilot programme aimed at keeping America at the forefront of aviation and drone innovation,” Brian Huseman, Amazon’s vice-president of public policy, said.

Are you an Apple Maps convert? Or does Google Maps still guide you home? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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