When it launched in 2012, Apple Maps didn’t exactly take the tech industry by storm. The app had quite a rough start – here’s Mashable’s first review, and customer feedback wasn’t much kinder – and, three years later, it’s still not close to overtaking Google Maps. But Apple has continued to build on its mapping service, regularly rolling out features that make Maps much more compelling to use now than when it was first introduced.
Online reviews on Apple Maps
Most recently, Apple integrated Booking.com and TripAdvisor reviews of select hotels to the Maps app. The reviews appear through the drop-pin on the map, along with user-generated star ratings and photos. Meanwhile, review data from Yelp (which Apple added in 2012) still remains, although according to Search Engine Land, local information from Yelp appear to have been replaced by TripAdvisor and Booking.com content in hotel and restaurant searches outside the US.
“The new review sources show up in mobile results and on the desktop version of Apple Maps,” wrote Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land. “Booking.com is being used for hotel reviews in most cases while TripAdvisor is used for restaurants. In my mind, there are two potential explanations for what’s going on. Apple is either expanding and diversifying its review sources globally for expanded coverage, or specifically moving to limit its reliance on Yelp for an unknown reason.”
Whatever the case may be, Apple has certainly taken significant strides to enhance its mapping platform and shown seriousness in competing with the industry-leading Google Maps. Prior to the Booking.com and TripAdvisor integration, the company rolled out extended 3D flyover support as well as established new US partnerships for Apple Maps.
According to Apple Insider, business owners can now also claim and manage their local data and points of interest on Apple Maps (with iOS 8.3), via a “Claim this business” button in the app’s “Report a Problem” tool.
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