Apple Maps Will Soon Support User Ratings and Photos

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated June 16, 2021

Apple Maps has gone a long way since its inception. It had to pass through a lengthy period of mocking and belittlement before people accepted it as a worthy Google Maps alternative. Even better, it is now preparing for high levels of synergy in the iOS and macOS ecosystem, offering capabilities that are impossible to do with Google’s product.

One of the things that were still missing was a native image uploading and user rating system, but according to 9to5Mac, this seems to be readying for release with the upcoming iOS 14.

The new features were first noticed by Twitter user “BeauGiles,” who saw the absence of the previous system that drew ratings, reviews, and photos from Foursquare, TripAdvisor, and Yelp. Instead, Apple Maps users will be able to add their photos, write their reviews, and rate places of interest.

The only requirement will be for the user to be 13 years of age and older - otherwise, their reviews will get rejected. Even then, all photos and reviews will be checked by Apple’s agents before they are approved. If they are, they become publicly available in Apple Maps, so everyone gets to benefit, and Apple gets a richer product.

Related: Google Maps Is Now Turning Into a Social Network

Having a native rating system is very important because the Apple community and users share common ground in their tastes. For example, a specific restaurant in New York may have 4.1 stars on TripAdvisor, 4.5 on Google Maps, and 3.8 on Yelp. Each platform’s users give weight to different elements when writing a review, so having a native system ensures that Apple users will get to read reviews from like-minded individuals. Additionally, Apple Maps may be more trustworthy if Apple decides to limit ratings to one per place per user ID.

What is still missing, is not in the plans, and will probably not be in the foreseeable future plans, is a free web-based version of Apple Maps. Even if that were restricted in many ways, it would help the project tap into a larger userbase. After all, reaping the benefits of crowd-sourcing presupposes easy access. Another detail that hasn’t been made known yet is whether or not users will be allowed to add new locations on Apple Maps, or if this will stay strictly between the company and business owners.

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