iOS 8 to bring revamped Maps, Transit and Augmented reality

Apple removed the Google’s Maps application iOS 6 and replaced it with their in-house Maps solution. This major change in iOS was not welcomed very well and Apple got criticized for its lackluster maps application because of it’s inferior features, inaccuracy and removal of public transit directions. For this widespread criticism, Tim Cook had to publicly apologize for not meeting the high-standards that customers expect from Apple. But things are going to be different with release of iOS 8
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Apple plans on fixing all the issues with its mapping solution by polishing the Maps app, adding public transit data and augmented reality in the iOS 8, reports Mark Gurman of the 9to5mac.

iOS 8, code-named Okemo is currently under active development at Apple. Unlike iOS 7, it won’t bring visual refresh, but it will continue to iterate and improve on the existing features, add new ones or may also bring back some removed features. Here’s what Mark Gurman reports:

Thanks to extensive engineering work and acquisitions of several companies such BroadMap, Embark, and HopStop, Apple’s database for iOS Maps will be upgraded with enhanced data so it is more reliable, according to sources. The new application will also be injected with new points of interests and new labels to make places such as airports, parks, train stations, bus stops, highways, and freeways easier to find, the sources added. Sources also say that the mapping application’s cartography design has been tweaked to be slightly cleaner and to make streets more visible.

Gurman also says that public transit will also be a part of iOS 8, which Apple didn’t introduced in its Maps app when it was first released. Transit directions in Apple Maps will be powered by the companies Apple acquired, such as HopStop and Embark. Gurman reports:

Transit directions allow a person to use an iPhone to travel from one destination to another via public transportation. iOS 8 Maps will be able to tap into train, subway, and bus data and provide enhanced directions to major airports.

When a user chooses to receive transit directions in the iOS 8 Maps app, a translucent panel slides up from the bottom of the Maps app with a list of different routes, according to the sources briefed on the application. Each route uses icons to notate the method of transportation (for example, a bus or train). The left side of the route choice panels share the departure and arrival times, and the right side notes the travel time. The transit view is said to split the screen between the routes list and the map so that users can also visually see the provided routes.

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What’s more, Gurman says, augmented reality to overlay data on top of nearby points-of-interest is also in the works. Apple will reportedly also add indoor mapping and improved Maps integration with cars. There’s no word on if the augmented reality will make it into iOS 8 or is being worked on for a future version of iOS.

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