Let me run down a list of basic Apple customer questions. First, got Maps? Of course, you do. Maps is standard on all new Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Maps on Apple gear is used far more than Google Maps.
Second, we all know Maps has improved and Apple keeps adding features, but can you think of features you want to have? I’m thinking features that will keep you on the road but away from danger.
When we’re driving we have certain basics in mind. How long will it take to get to where I’m going? What is the traffic like? If there’s an obstruction of some kind– construction, traffic jam, or road change– what is the best alternative.
Fortunately, all the most popular Maps-like services have such features to one degree or another; Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze (made by Google).
Along with the aforementioned requirements, I have a growing list of features I want in Apple Maps.
First up, road conditions #1. This includes roads flooded by a recent rain or water overflowing onto the highway or street. Also on that list are weather conditions that cause problems– snow and ice come to mind.
Second, road conditions #2. This includes actual road conditions; think potholes. Think rough roads. iPhone comes loaded with sensors so it should be able to track specifics– the car is moving, the car bounced, the car bounced many times over x-number of blocks, other cars did the same thing on the same road, ipso facto and alakazam, that’s a bumpy road to avoid, or at least to warn drivers about.
Third, better Siri voice integration. No, not me speaking to Siri, but Siri speaking up to warn about conditions ahead; the areas you cannot see but that Maps should know about. That means Siri should have the option to jump in and say, “Dave, there is a patrol car one mile ahead.” Or, “Dave, the route you selected has many stoplights. May I suggest another route?”
Finally, AI. Artificial Intelligence.
I want Siri to work in concert with other applications. Let me use Maps and Calendar as an example. Calendar has an event that I need to drive to. Siri should know that and warn me ahead of time that I must leave by a specific time to get to the destination on time. Something like, “Dave, you have 10-minutes to start driving to get to your Event on time.” Valuable? Yes. How about this one? “Dave, you must drive 5-MPH faster to get to your Meeting on time.”
Siri with brains integrated into Apple Maps, Calendar, and other apps would be useful to Apple’s customers.