Apple Maps launched in September 2012 as the default mapping app on iPhone, but soon faced widespread criticism for having incomplete data, providing incorrect directions and lacking features over Google Maps. The controversial launch resulted in Apple CEO Tim Cook issuing a rare public apology, while former iOS chief Scott Forstall was ousted from Apple just one month later.
While there is still room for improvement, Apple Maps has gained several new features over the past three years. iOS 9 continues that trend, adding a long overdue Transit routing and new Nearby search mode alongside existing features such as turn-by-turn navigation, real-time traffic information, Flyover photo-realistic 3D views of select metro areas, Siri, local search and iCloud support.
Apple Maps is now a multi-modal mapping app with the addition of public transit routing via bus, subway, light rail, train and ferry. You can view entire stations or individual lines on a map to choose the best possible route.
Apple Maps transit directions are currently available in Baltimore, Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington D.C. and several cities in China.
Some extended areas of Connecticut and New Jersey near New York City and Southern Ontario cities near Toronto such as York Region, Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton and Waterloo Region also support transit.
You can now search Apple Maps based on categories such as Food, Drinks, Shopping, Travel, Services, Fun, Health and Transport, and within each category you can search deeper for specific places.
If you tap on Food, for example, you can then filter your results based on Popular, Restaurants, Groceries, Fast Food, Cafés, Bakeries and Desserts. A list of locations is displayed with aggregated Yelp data.
Nearby categories such as Food, Fun, Shopping and Travel can also be accessed from the Spotlight Search menu on iOS 9.