While the days when it was basically unusable are long behind us, Apple Maps still doesn’t have nearly as many features as Google Maps, nor is it as well respected. While the latter may simply be out of the question in the short term, at least its hotel reviews will soon no longer be restricted to Yelp alone.
Though not yet formally acknowledged, Apple Maps now seems to be returning reviews from TripAdvisor and Booking.com, according to a tip received by AppleInsider. Specifically, TripAdvisor reviews for the Days Inn in Monmouth Junction New Jersey and Booking.com reviews for locations around the world, including China, have been spotted.
If you’re a fan of the integrated Yelp reviews, don’t fret. It appears that the new services are supplementing the Yelp reviews in Apple Maps, rather than replacing them. So far, only specific searches are returning results from TripAdvisor and Booking.com, with Yelp continuing to provide the lion’s share of results. A search for “Hotels” returned Yelp results for Monmouth Junction, while a search for “Days Inn” returned TripAdvisor reviews.
No official announcement has been made by Apple, but it’s possible that these additional services could be linked to the company’s acquisition of Spotsetter last year. The startup’s app of the same name focused on personalized social search and navigation. While neither of those seem to be in use here, at the time the company was acquired, Spotsetter integrated Zagat, TripAdvisor, and Yelp.
If the first few months are any indication, 2015 could be a year of major improvements for Apple Maps. Late last year, Apple filed a patent named “User Interface Tools for Commute Assistant,” which seemed to point toward the Maps service finally providing public transit directions. In addition, Apple Maps added data from GasBuddy and GreatSchools last year to provide local gas prices and school locations, respectively.