I love Apple maps. I’m not a tech blogger, and most of the stuff I write here is really just for me as I try to figure out my life. But I can’t help myself with this… I love what they did with maps on the new iOS 10 beta. And don’t even get me started with how much BETTER the new Music app is. It is amazeballs.
I went to meet a friend at a bar that I had never been to before. Time to try out Maps. I put the address in and was given a much more cleaner interface. It showed turns on the top in letters big enough for me to see while driving a moving vehicle (unlike the Ive’s make everything small as hell design style of the past).
This was fantastic! But a quick swipe up showed me the turn-by-turns that I needed without having to dig through more minuscule menus and triggering the annoying voice status.
There were other options when you swipe up, such as gas and coffee and so on. I do a lot of traveling to give presentations and I am constantly looking for the location where I will be giving a talk at, but need to grab some fuel or coffee. In the past I had to create a new route, grab my coffee, and then go back into maps and enter the previous destination. It was a pain in the ass. This time I could select a variety of options, it showed them on the map around my route, and I could pick one as a side route.
On my way to the bar I decided to test out a side route and selected a favorite coffee shop. It kept my original route. When I was done going to the coffee shop I could hit the original route in the blue bar and continue going.
Another thing that I like is the big red DONE button. It was annoying to arrive at a destination, have to tap through small buttons (more Ive’s school of nano design) to end the trip, which also interjected another annoying audible update.
Recently I went some place at night and was pleased to see that the automatic night mode had returned. Night mode, or dark mode, or whatever you want to call it, was a much needed update in the past to keep the screen from blinding you while you drove at night. Then it went away. I could never find that setting again in Maps and I suffered in silence. Now it was back. And, unless I am crazy from coffee intake, it was switching back and forth as I drove through brightly lit city streets at night, as fast as I could drive through them (in a Mustang, it was pretty fast).
And then there is another thing that I found that is just amazeballs. Opening up Maps on my phone I see that my car’s location is shown on the map. I don’t have any gadgets in it to communicate, and I assume that Maps just uses the change in acceleration data to determine that I left driving to walking. It did this at a recent trip to the park, and also at home. It remains to be seen what it will do if I drive my car to a strange city, get into a car with a famous celebrity for a night of crazy karaoke singing (Salma Hayek, call me) and then have to find my own car again. How will it know that I parked my car ten blocks away from the bookstore that I met the celebrity in? I like that I don’t have to create ANOTHER freaking pin on my map to remember where I parked the car, but how long does this last? How many cars will it remember? There are options to make notes, take pics, etc.. for the car. It’ll be interesting to see how this part works.