With iOS 8, Apple will reportedly overhaul its Maps app

Apple's iOS 8 is widely expected to launch later this year. 

Apple
Is Apple rejiggering its Maps app for iOS 8?

Even as Apple rolls out the first major update to iOS 7, rumors are percolating about the next edition of the mobile operating system. 

According to 9 to 5 Mac, iOS 8, which will likely launch later this year, will include a significantly updated Maps app – an effort on Apple's part to make up for the widely-panned debut of Apple Maps. The typical caveats apply: Apple isn't commenting, and 9 to 5 Mac sources the whole thing to anonymous people familiar with Apple's plans. Still, reporters at the site have been traditionally pretty accurate when it comes to Apple prognosticating, so it's worth paying attention. 

Here's 9 to 5 Mac: 

Thanks to extensive engineering work and acquisitions of several companies such [as] BroadMapEmbark, and HopStop, Apple’s database for iOS Maps will be upgraded with enhanced data so it is more reliable, according to sources. The new application will also 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 added. Sources also say that the mapping application’s cartography design has been tweaked to be slightly cleaner and to make streets more visible.

Back in 2012, of course, Apple removed Google Maps as the default app for the iPhone, and introduced its own Maps software. The in-house app drew heaps of derision, and was variously described as a "flop," a "debacle," and just plain "ugly." Apple was forced to apologize, and later, the Google Maps app made a high-profile to return to the Apple ecosystem. 

The hope, as 9 to 5 Mac reports, is that an overhauled iOS 8 Maps app will help users forget about the mess of the original software, and help lure longtime stalwarts away from the sturdy Google Maps software. 

In related news, Apple today introduced iOS 7.1, an upgrade that includes tweaks to Siri and to iTunes Radio, as well as the CarPlay feature, which helps sync up iPhones and iPads with a vehicle's touch screen. 

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