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New Apple Maps goes big on privacy after Google location tracking woes

Apple has confirmed its rebuilt Apple Maps app is currently rolling out to iOS users in the United States, with a European relaunch coming soon.

In a rare mid-cycle relaunch of a core app, the company says the redesigned Maps app offers far more detail, and improvements across the board. Those include better road coverage, as well as more comprehensive pedestrian data, precise addresses and detailed land cover.

Apple says the relaunch will make Apple Maps significantly more accurate as a navigation tool, while boasting more comprehensive views of “roads, buildings, parks, airports, malls and more.” The extent of that additional detail can be viewed in the GIF file below:

In a newsroom blog post, Apple executive Eddy Cue says the new app also has privacy at its core. In an obvious response to the difficulties Google has experienced with its Location History feature, Apple says its app requires no sign-in and says its personalised feature are “created using on-device intelligence.”

The company goes onto say that data collected during use is randomised and regularly reset. The company even uses a technique called ‘fuzzing’ to obscure the user’s precise location when they’re searching for directions.

New and improved features include the revamped Explore tools, the ability to create and share Collections based upon their top hotspots, one-tap navigation to favourite locations, the ability to share ETAs, real-time transit, flight statuses, indoor maps and the existing Flyover feature.

Cue, Apple’s Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said: “We set out to create the best and most private maps app on the planet that is reflective of how people explore the world today. It is an effort we are deeply invested in and required that we rebuild the map from the ground up to reimagine how Maps enhances people’s lives — from navigating to work or school or planning an important vacation — all with privacy at its core. The completion of the new map in the United States and delivering new features like Look Around and Collections are important steps in bringing that vision to life. We look forward to bringing this new map to the rest of the world starting with Europe later this year.”

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