Apple is building a brand new version of Apple Maps, TechCrunch said on Friday. People who live in the San Francisco Bay Area of California will reportedly get to try the new version first, beginning sometime next week when Apple launches a new iOS 12 public preview.
Apple has tried to catch up with Google Maps for years, most recently adding indoor maps for places like airports, but has still struggled to provide a better product for transit and driving directions, or for points of interest such as restaurants. The current version of Apple Maps includes data from mapping firm TomTom and other sources. Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue is leading the project, TechCrunch said.
TechCrunch said Apple is collecting its own data for the first time using a fleet of cars that drive around and collect data, and that the company will have all of California mapped by this fall. That suggests it'll be a while longer before everyone in the U.S. -- let alone international users --get to try it where they live.