iOS 8 Incoming – New Maps App, Public Transit Directions

Executives want Maps to reach the “incredibly high standard” expected by customers

With just a few months away from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, where the company typically unleashes new OSes, new details have emerged regarding iOS 8, the next major version of Apple’s mobile operating system powering iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch players.

Apple’s mapping prowess is set to take on a new form in iOS 8, according to people briefed on the company’s plans. 9to5mac has heard from these people that one of the key features in Apple’s upcoming iOS revision will be a much improved Maps application.

CEO Tim Cook, Senior Vice Presidents Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi, and Maps head Patrice Gautier want Maps to live up to the “incredibly high standard” of Apple”s customers, according to the report.

After acquiring several mapping companies (BroadMap, Embark, HopStop, etc.) and after doing some extensive engineering work, Apple feels it is now ready to unleash hell on Earth for Google and its mapping services, by rivaling the search giant with what promises to be the best Maps app available.

The new Maps app will be “injected with new points of interests and new labels to make places such as airports, parks, train stations, bus stops, highways, and freeways easier to find,” the sources said.

The cartography design has been modified to appear cleaner and to make streets more distinguishable, and Apple will add public transit directions to the app.

“iOS 8 Maps will be able to tap into train, subway, and bus data and provide enhanced directions to major airports. The functionality will exist in major cities, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, and will expand to other locations across the United States and potentially other countries across the world around the public launch of iOS 8,” the info states.

Embedded both as an option in the classic Directions panel and as a new view, Transit Directions will appear alongside Driving and Walking, and “when a user chooses to receive transit directions in the iOS 8 Maps app, a translucent panel slides up from the bottom of the Maps app with a list of different routes,” one of the sources said.

The report further reiterates the presence of a “Healthbook” inside iOS 8, an effort that will reportedly pair iDevices with the upcoming iWatch for monitoring a person’s life signs (blood pressure, hydration levels, etc.).

iOS 8 will most likely make its debut in a developer preview at Apple’s WWDC 2014 opening keynote. At the same event, the company is also expected to unveil an all-new version of its desktop OS, which some think will be dubbed “OS XI” (read OS eleven).

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