Apple is working on a brand new version of Maps

Apple is working on a new version of Maps that’s more responsive to changes in road conditions than the existing version, according to a new report.

Speaking to TechCrunch last week, Apple SVP Eddy Cue revealed that the team behind Maps are developing a brand new version of the application that incorporates first-party data gathered by iPhones, using a privacy-first methodology, and their own fleet of camera- and sensor-equipped vehicles.

The data is used to detect, display and plan around differences in the roadway, like construction sites, to help users avoid congestion. The team is also using it to create a more detailed view of ground cover, foliage and pedestrian pathways, with a view to warning drivers of significant potholes in the asphalt in the future.

“Since we introduced this six years ago — we won’t rehash all the issues we’ve had when we introduced it — we’ve done a huge investment in getting the map up to par,” says Cue. “When we launched, a lot of it was all about directions and getting to a certain place. Finding the place and getting directions to that place.”

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“We’ve done a huge investment of making millions of changes, adding millions of locations, updating the map and changing the map more frequently, he added, later noting that the firm has since shifted its attention to taking Maps to the “next level” by building its own map data from the ground up, instead of licensing it.

Set to launch in San Francisco with the next iOS 12 beta release, the new version of Maps will be maintained and updated by a dedicated team in real-time. That means that should a new road happen to open up in your area, it will take a mere matter of days to show up – not weeks or months, as it currently the case.

“The truth is that Maps needs to be [updated more],” says Cue. “We’ll be doing this even more with our new maps, [with] the ability to change the map in real time and often. We do that every day today. This is expanding us to allow us to do it across everything in the map. Today, there’s certain things that take longer to change.”

What feature are you hoping to see baked into the next version of Maps? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.