iOS 8 could bring major improvements to the Apple Maps app, according to a new report.
Apple is apparently readily a new version of Apple Maps to launch in line with iOS 8 later this year, in an attempt to provide a better alternative to Google Maps.
According to “sources briefed on the plans”, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Senior VPs Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi and head of Apple Maps Patrice Gautier have been leading teams of engineers to rebuild the Maps app and make it more reliable.
The sources suggest Apple is using its recent acquisitions of BroadMap, Embark and HopStop among over smaller companies to upgrade the data and reliability of Apple Maps using their combined knowledge.
New points of interests and new labels will indicate places like airports, train stations, bus stops and motorways easier to spot within the app, and the overall look of the app will be made cleaner in order to make streets more visible.
A major new introduction to Apple Maps with iOS 8 will be public transport directions, which will be deeply integrated into the new version of the app.
iOS 8 Apple Maps will be capable of showing you how to get to your destination using trains, tubes or buses, and will provide better information about how to travel to major airports.
The sources suggest the public transport directions will be integrated into Apple Maps in two different ways. Firstly, it will appear within the Directions view alongside driving and walking, but it will also be presented as a new viewing option as a way to quickly view train stations, airports and bus stops near your location.
This view will be listed with the Standard, Hybrid and Satellite viewing options already available.
Similar to other navigational apps like Google Maps or CityMapper, the upcoming iteration of Apple Maps will present you with the list of different transportation routes using special icons. You’ll also be provided with departure and arrival times as well as the travel duration.
Supposedly, you’ll be able to choose between routes departing now or input a specific time for a route to use later.
Apple is also reportedly working on a way to integrate indoor mapping views and improve the in-car integration for Apple Maps, which we suppose would work with Apple CarPlay.
The Cupertino company is also purportedly beavering away on an augmented reality feature to show you nearby points of interest.
Read more: iOS 7.1 Features – What’s new?