A new patent granted to Apple earlier today reveals what could be the future of its Maps app. The reimagined service uses layered data to create a dynamic piece of software, shows different points of interest based on each user’s preferences.
Apple imagines Maps having more contextual relevance. When you open the app, you could check off relevant options from a list that includes commuting, tourism, shopping, outdoor recreation and weather. The app would then emphasize nearby relevant locations, displaying additional information when you tap on a point of interest. Touching two points on the map would instantly generate a list of routes, while tapping on the highway would show where to find different services along the road.
Apple Maps may have launched as an incomplete product, earning Cupertino plenty of criticism, but the company has since improved its mapping service to the point where it works pretty well most of the time. Since the app’s release with iOS 6, Apple has been able to coax millions of users away from Google Maps by offering a competing but familiar product. If the company can implement even some of the ideas detailed in its latest patent, it may be able to draw even more people away from the Google’s services.