The morning commute was a little rougher for iPhone users on Friday, June 15: Apple’s Maps app went down for users worldwide. As the default navigation app for both iOS and MacOS, the outage affected millions of users.
Apple first acknowledged the problem at 8:48 a.m. ET, after Twitter users started complaining of problems online. Apple’s Support Page listed issues with both “Maps & Routing Navigation” and “Map Search.” Details concerning the cause of the outage were not listed, though we contacted the Map app team and will update our coverage as we learn more.
Hey @AppleSupport how about some indication of when #apple #maps is going to come back. I had to download Google Maps. The one time in a month that I need the service and its down? Please search "apple maps" on Twitter for confirmation of the problem.
— Michael S. Manley (@michaelsmanley) June 15, 2018
While maps loaded in the Maps app on iOS and MacOS, users were unable to search for locations or use navigation features. For those who attempted to use Maps, they were greeted with either a “Directions not available,” or “Route information is not available at the moment” notification.
Originally created as a competitor to Google Maps, Maps provides multi-modal navigation assistance. Maps offers walking, driving, and public transit directions in many cities, as well as the ability to hail taxis and ridesharing apps. Last year, Apple began adding indoor maps for large buildings like airports and shopping malls.
The outage affected third-party apps that integrate with Maps as well. Users that attempted to hail an Uber or Lyft from the Maps app, received a notification stating the service was unavailable.
Apple first released Maps on iOS 6 as a Google Maps replacement. After a very rocky start, Apple made significant changes to the app before the release of iOS 7. Over the past several years the tech giant has continued to improve the app by adding additional features and integrations.
After nearly four hours, it looks like Maps service has been restored to all users. While it’s not common to see outages for Apple services, its still a good idea to have a backup should the problem occur again. Google Maps is available on the App Store and provides many of the same features as Maps. If you use ridesharing services, like Uber or Lyft, you can continue to use the native apps to request rides even when Maps is down.