Will Apple extend its Maps service to Macs and PCs?

Tue, Oct 2, 2012

News, Rumors

Apple is diving head first into Maps. Yeah yeah, we all know about Apple’s missteps thus far and all the hard work they have to do. Hell, Tim Cook even issued a rare public apology to iPhone users, going so far as to recommend competing mapping applications for users thoroughly underwhelmed with Apple’s own offering.

Without a doubt, Apple’s own maps app will improve as the crowd-sourced data rolls in. So Apple’s foibles aside, let’s take a quick look at what Apple may have planned for Maps in the future.

To that end, AppleInsider reports that when users in iOS 6 share their location data with other iOS users, it points Mac and PC users to Google Maps. However, the origin URL is maps.apple.com which may tip us off that Apple may bring a desktop version of Maps, a’la Google’, to a desktop near you sometime in the future.

By using the URL maps.apple.com when sharing a location from iOS 6 Maps, Apple can automatically launch the native Maps application for other iOS 6 users. But for those on another device, like a Mac or Windows PC, maps.apple.com is currently inaccessible.

Instead, for those on traditional computers, links beginning with maps.apple.com automatically forward to maps.google.com. In fact, this works even with broken links: Visiting “maps.apple.com/test” automatically forwards to “maps.google.com/test”.

So who knows what Apple is up to, but one thing’s for sure – they need to really beef up their Mapping team to really tackle many of the shortcomings that have made the news thus far.

Indeed, BGR points out that Google has more than 7,000 employees working exclusively on Maps. Crowd sourcing data points and points of general interest will certainly help, but if Apple wants to fix this problem quickly, it really needs to go on a hiring spree of some sort.

And hey, whadya know, last week TechCrunch reported that Apple was actively seeking to hire mapping experts from none other than Google.

And for further reading highlighting the momentous challenge faced by Apple, check out David Talbot’s article detailing why fixing Apple’s Maps app may be more arduous than Apple assumes.

via AppleInsider



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