Apple Maps still can’t quite match the immense amount of data that Google Maps has collected over the years. Apple is trying to change that with a new program aimed at businesses.
Apple revealed a new tool today, called “Apple Business Connect,” which allows businesses to update their location place cards (which Apple automatically fills with third-party data) and customize the information. Google has offered a similar feature for years, allowing companies to create a Google Business Profile and display opening hours, contact information, special offers, photos, and even ordering links. Before now, Apple only allowed businesses to set opening hours, contact numbers, and other basic data, with no support for photos or other displays.
Apple Business Connect allows companies to update photos and logos, and create action links — for example, a restaurant could add a button to start a remote order or reservation. Businesses can also display offers and incentives in the new “Showcases” area, starting today in the United States and coming later in other countries. The update comes after iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura added support for multi-stop trips in Maps, among other upgrades.
Apple said in a press release, “businesses around the world can now directly manage their information in the interactive Apple Maps place card, including adding and updating photos and logos; inviting customers to take actions like ordering food or making a reservation directly from Maps; and presenting customers with special promotions. Businesses can also provide customers with useful information by highlighting actions for them to take directly from the Maps place card, like ordering groceries via Instacart, making a hotel reservation through Booking.com, or reserving a spot for dinner with OpenTable, and more, with just a tap.”
The new feature mostly benefits Apple Maps, but data from businesses will also appear in Messages, Wallet, Siri, and other apps. If enough companies get on board, it could go a long way in making Apple Maps just as accurate with business information as Google’s services.