Apple Maps uses the Google service

Apple Maps available on the web: competition for Google & Co.?

So far, Apple's in-house map service can only be used officially with the manufacturer's applications - Apple Maps on Mac, iPhone and iPad. As users of macOS Sierra have now noticed, when searching for locations in the in-house Safari browser, Apple has recently been spitting out links for the first time that lead to the free web - more precisely to the website "maps.apple.com". By default, the home page is redirected to Apple's card-related marketing page; but you already know it from the "Find my iPhone" function in iCloud, which has been moved from Google Maps to Apple's own map service since 2014.

Detailed site pages

An example link to Apple's map service would be this one to the John Hancock Center in Chicago - it was discovered by Twitter user Alan Miller. But you can also create your own Apple map pages. There is no search field and no start page as you know from Google Maps and Co., but a URL adjustment is sufficient. "Https://maps.apple.com/place?address=berlin%0Areichstag" leads to the Berlin Reichstag.

Depending on the location, Apple's map page shows various details such as phone numbers, exact street addresses, opening times, Yelp ratings and even photos and an excerpt from Wikipedia. The map integrated on the location page is comparatively small, but it can be zoomed. There is also an "Open in Maps" button that can be used to open the map in the Apple Maps app.

Convenience for Windows users?

It remains to be seen whether Apple will really continue to open its web map service or simply introduce the new location pages for the convenience of users, so that users can also exchange them with friends and acquaintances under Windows. Speculations that Apple could compete against Google Maps and the like with its own map service have existed since 2012.

Apple initially had to struggle with serious problems when introducing Apple Maps under iOS in autumn 2012 - the data quality was rather poor compared to the competition. CEO Tim Cook felt compelled to publish an official apology and promised to improve the service quickly. That should have been successful by now - on iOS, Apple Maps is more popular than Google Maps. (bsc)

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