IF YOU'VE ever been trying to navigate with your phone and found yourself and wandering around aimlessly because the directions make no sense, then there's some good news courtesy of Apple.
Apple employees wearing backpacks with ‘Apple Maps maps.apple.com' and covered in sensors and cameras were first spotted on the streets of San Francisco and now the company has confirmed the rollout across Silicon Valley and beyond.
The rollout in California includes Alameda, Los Angeles, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. It has not currently been revealed if this pilot will be extended further any time soon.
The scheme should make it easier for Apple to accurately show areas that aren't car friendly, which in turn should make walking directions more accurate, but also safer as there's less chance of being sent down a busy road with no pavement. Like the M6.
As far as we know, Apple is the first mapping platform to add these pavement warriors to their arsenal, another demonstration of how far it has come from that dreadful first implementation of the service which left out entire cities, sent people off sea-fronts and created weird topology that even Slartibartfast would be jealous of.
Apple has long spoken of its plans to make Apple Maps even better, which is code for ‘we're going to beat Google'. Certainly a straw poll in the office yielded more recent sightings of Apple Maps cars than Google ones, and the Apple feature-set is now on a par with its rival.
The only thing to be mindful of is that pedestrians are slower than cars. It's one of the reasons we have cars. So unless the rollout escalates by hundreds-fold, don't expect that little footpath round the back of your estate to be traversable on your phone screen for a good few years yet. μ
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