Apple Maps might finally get the one Google feature everyone has been waiting for

apple ios public beta maps
Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr
Apple Maps has come a long way since its introduction, which was met with much criticism. Despite its steady progress, however, it still lacks one very important feature that Google Maps has: Street View. That could change very soon though.

Street View is a feature that Google Maps users have enjoyed for a long time. It gives you an interactive view of just about any location, and is perfect for helping you familiarize yourself with your destination or with particular intersections along your route. Google can offer this feature because it deploys a battalion of vehicles around the world with car-mounted cameras.

According to hints on Apple’s website, the Cupertino company could finally be readying it’s own version of Street View. Business Insider discovered this statement regarding privacy on the Apple Maps vehicles information page: “We are committed to protecting your privacy while collecting this data. For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication. If you have comments or questions about this process, please contact us.”

Google does the same exact thing with Street View, so the belief is that this statement could be referring to a similar feature for Apple Maps.

The same webpage also reveals a schedule for Apple Maps vehicles. They have already been scheduled to hit England, France, and many areas of the United States beginning on January 4, and extending through February 14.

Apple Maps is now the most popular navigation app on iOS even though many people feel Google Maps is more powerful. However, let’s not forget that Apple Maps comes pre-installed on iPhones and iPads. While Google Maps is available on iOS, many users stick with whatever the default app is.

Even though Apple has until now neglected to add Street View, it has invested heavily in its Flyover feature. Flyover allows you to explore major cities and landmarks with 3D aerial views. Google offers something very similar in its Earth View mode in Google Maps. Apple added new Flyover locations, including Aomori, Japan; Bruges, Belgium; Lake Powell, Utah; and Limoges, France last week.

If Apple is actually working on Street View capabilities for its Maps app, we could hear more about it at the next Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC). That event hasn’t been scheduled yet, but it typically takes place in June.

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