Apple Maps Native Ratings System Coming to US Places of Interest, Perhaps as Early as Next Week
With the release of iOS 14 and macOS 11, Apple introduced a new way for users to review places of interest and upload photos to Apple Maps that doesn't rely on third party integrations like Yelp and TripAdvisor.
Users who tap a marker for a place on the map that they have physically visited are offered the ability to recommend a place using a thumbs up/thumbs down rating that can also distinguish between relevant categories, such as ratings for the quality of products and services in a shop, for example. An "Add Photos to Maps" option in place cards also lets users upload pictures directly to Apple's Maps servers.
As it stands, Apple's rollout of native ratings in Maps has been patchy, with users in the United Kingdom, Australia and a handful of other regions able to recommend places they've visited. Apple's in-house ratings remain unavailable for places of interest in the United States, for both users in and outside the country.
However, a brief shot from Tuesday's "Spring Loaded" Apple event, spotted by an eagle-eyed Redditor, suggests that could be set to change very soon. During the iMac announcement, Apple showed a macOS desktop screen with the Maps app open and a thumbs up/thumbs down recommendation option for Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California.
Notably, the image shows that Yelp reviews are still listed, indicating that Apple is continuing to provide third-party recommendations alongside its own ratings system as it works to build up a database of crowdsourced reviews across the States.
While we can't be certain, the likelihood is that Apple will make native Maps ratings available for U.S. places of interest with the release of iOS 14.5 and macOS 11.3 sometime next week.