Apple has continued its efforts to improve its Maps app with the addition of ten new data providers, according to a new report from Apple Maps Marketing (via 9to5Mac). The new providers specialize in providing Apple with business listings.
Apple Maps Marketing came upon the information when inquiring about Apple Maps Connect and its Business Portal, which allows businesses with over 1,000 locations to add their listings to Apple Maps. Apple responded to the inquiry by pointing the site to a group of data providers that supplied Apple with information on businesses with less than 1,000 locations.
Three of the providers on the list -- Yelp, Factual and Neustar/Localeze -- were already known to be providing Apple with data for its Maps app, which indicates that the remaining 10 are providers Apple has inked deals with more recently. While the list doesn't include other known Apple Maps partners like Acxiom, it does suggest Apple is continuing to add more partners to improve its data.
Top Rated Comments
If they did, they would immediately discover these basic things sorely missing from Apple Maps and address them:
1. Planning a route of more than one destination. ie: I have 5 errands to run, and I need to do three of them in a certain order, what are some routes? Fastest, shortest distance, bonus points for the least gas guzzling based on speeds, stops & distance?
2. Load and STORE the maps. Out on the road, you cannot count on a steady, stable, high speed cellular connection at your disposal. When a user initially asks for directions, they should have a "Save route" option, whereupon the app begins downloading the maps along that route to LOCAL STORAGE, including the fine detail maps illustrating turns, areas off route to the nearest gas station, and ask the user how long they'd like to store them, a day, week, month, year. Upon completing a route, the app should ask if it's ok to delete that route & maps, or if you'd like to store it, or if you'd like to use it again for the return trip.
3. When a user asks the app for directions, and then proceeds down that route, and the app follows the users location along that route for a quarter mile or more, the app should consider the person en route. Forgetting their route and dumping their maps at some random point (usually when you stop for gas) because they didn't hit a "start" button is a stupid way of leaving people stranded and lost. Less buttons, more usefulness.
4. Show useful map data. A 50 foot view down a straight highway with a semi intelligible note about the next turn, is not useful. The overview should always show the users position. A view that auto-zooms to shows our position on the REMAINING route with a preview of the next upcoming turn so you can get in the correct lane early would be helpful. In-line directions should actively zoom between you and your next turn or exit.
5. Tap on upcoming exits to display how far away their gas and restaurants are. ...better yet, ever-present "GAS" & "FOOD" icons, that at any point can tell you where the nearest options are. Like asking Siri, but able to be performed out in the boonies where there aren't reliable cellular connections, because it should be able to read that data off its LOCALLY STORED MAPS.
6. On-screen toggles for voice instructions volume & mute, independent of the levels the music or podcasts you're listening to are playing at.
Etc. All things that Apple can do or sit back and watch their competition do.
Leaving for another 3-state drive in 6 minutes. Bringing the wifes iPad, and several road atlases.