Apple Finally Catches Up: iPhone Gets Feature Long Available on Google Maps

Apple Finally Catches Up: iPhone Gets Feature Long Available on Google Maps

Exploring the history of location services on mobile devices

The history of location services on mobile devices dates back to the early 2000s. In 2000, the U.S. government made GPS accessible to the public, which paved the way for location-based services. In 2005, the introduction of GPS-enabled smartphones marked a turning point. Apple’s iPhone, released in 2007, popularized location-based apps with its built-in GPS functionality. The launch of the App Store in 2008 further accelerated the development of location-based services. Over the years, advancements in technology, such as improved GPS accuracy, the integration of Wi-Fi and cellular network data, and the emergence of Apple’s mapping services platforms, have expanded the capabilities of location services. 

Apple’s iPhone finally catches up to Google Maps in terms of location features

Apple’s iPhone has made significant strides in catching up to Google Maps regarding location features. In the past, Google Maps had a clear advantage with its comprehensive mapping and location services. However, Apple has invested heavily in improving its native Maps app, providing users with a more robust and competitive experience. With recent updates, Apple Maps now offers features like real-time transit information, cycling directions, and detailed indoor maps for select locations. Furthermore, Apple’s integration of its own location database and crowd-sourced data has helped improve accuracy and reliability. The addition of Look Around, a feature similar to Google Street View, enhances the visual experience for exploring locations.

How these location features can make life easier and save you time

The advanced location features available on devices like the iPhone and Google Maps can significantly enhance daily life, saving time and increasing convenience. 

  • Accurate Navigation: Whether driving, walking, or using public transportation, GPS-based navigation guides you with turn-by-turn directions, helping you reach your destination efficiently and avoid traffic congestion.
  • Local Recommendations: Location services can suggest nearby restaurants, shops, attractions, and services based on your current location, saving you the time and effort of searching for them manually.
  • Real-Time Transit Updates: With real-time transit information, you can stay updated on bus, train, or subway schedules, minimizing wait times and allowing you to plan your journey more effectively.
  • Efficient Delivery and Ride-Sharing: Location services facilitate accurate delivery tracking, ensuring you receive packages and food orders promptly. Additionally, ride-sharing apps utilize location data to quickly match you with nearby drivers, expediting pick-up times.
  • Location-Based Reminders: Set reminders based on your location to trigger tasks or actions when you arrive or leave a specific place, such as picking up groceries when passing a supermarket.

A discussion of what could be next for Apple’s mapping services

As Apple continues to enhance its Apple’s mapping services, several possibilities emerge for what could be next in their evolution. 

  • Augmented Reality (AR) Integration: Apple could leverage AR technology to overlay helpful information on real-time camera views. This could provide users with immersive navigation experiences, enhanced wayfinding, and contextual information about their surroundings.
  • Enhanced Indoor Mapping: Apple may expand its indoor mapping capabilities to include more locations like airports, shopping malls, and museums. Detailed indoor maps could assist users in finding specific stores, amenities, or points of interest within these venues.
  • Integration of AI and Machine Learning: Apple could utilize AI and machine learning algorithms to improve the accuracy and relevance of location-based recommendations. By understanding users’ preferences, habits, and context, Apple’s mapping services could offer personalized suggestions for places to visit, activities to try, and routes to take.
  • Environmental Features: Apple might introduce features focused on environmental sustainability, such as suggesting eco-friendly transportation options, highlighting bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly routes, or providing information on air quality and pollution levels in certain areas.



The strides made by Apple in catching up to Google Maps in terms of location features on the iPhone are commendable. With improvements in mapping accuracy, real-time transit information, indoor maps, and a privacy-focused approach, Apple has narrowed the gap. While Google Maps remains a formidable competitor, iPhone users can now enjoy a more robust native Maps app, offering a competitive array of features that enhance navigation, local recommendations, and overall user experience.

About The Author

Back to top