Apple Maps now shows the nearest bike-sharing stations in 179 cities

Apple has just given iPhone users another reason to use its Maps app, at least, if you’re a fan of bike-sharing schemes.

The locations of bike stations in 179 cities in 36 countries is now searchable in Apple Maps thanks to transportation data company Ito World. To find the nearest stations, simply type “bike sharing” in the search box when you open the app, then select the top result, which should have a “nearby” label with it.

The map will then populate with the closest bike-sharing stations, and will include both city-operated and privately run offerings.

Apple Maps already surfaced a number of such schemes for users of the app, according to TechCrunch, but the latest data injection is a major improvement on what went before.

The downside is that at the current time the information isn’t as detailed as you’d want it to be, so it only shows the locations of the bike stations rather than information on bike availability. Hopefully it can add that kind of data in a future update.

Still, if you’re visiting a new city, the feature will come in handy as a quick reference tool to pinpoint all the bike stations. If you’re within walking distance, you can simply stroll over to see if any bikes are there and ready to ride. Alternatively, if the station is a little further away, you can download the app specific to that service to find out about bike availability before you start making your way there.

It’s gotten a lot better

Since Apple Maps’ disastrous launch back in 2012, the company has been steadily building out the app in a bid to make it a worthy alternative to Google Maps. Most recently, Apple started adding layouts for some of the world’s biggest airports to help travelers find their way around the transportation hubs.

Like any maps app worth its salt, Apple’s effort comes with all the basic navigation features you’d want, plus extras like travel suggestions according to your previous activity or linked to events in your calendar. As with Google Maps, you can also grab lots of details on any establishment you’re thinking of visiting, with website links and reviews also accessible in a couple of taps.