Apple may have long occupied a place in the uppermost echelon of tech companies, but its navigation app can’t say the same. Launched for iPhones in 2012 as a way to keep from giving arch-rival Google all that sweet, sweet data, Apple Maps (since renamed just Maps) started out as a poor replacement for Google Maps, lacking in ways ranging from features to directions to information about locations. Since then — perhaps spurred on by the less-than-worldbeating launch — Apple has worked tirelessly to improve Maps.
But with the arrival of iOS 14, set to roll out to iPhones this fall, Apple Maps may have found its killer app, so to speak — at least, for anyone who drives an electric car. Because the newest version of the mapping software will be smart enough to automatically tell EV drivers when and where they need to charge on a long trip.
Apple announced the change as part of their comprehensive rollout of the newest iPhone operating system at WWDC on Monday, tucked away inside a cannonade of other software news. With the new update, Maps will use its knowledge of your particular EV’s specifications, including your car’s current available range and the types of chargers it can use, as well as outside information such as outside temperature and elevation changes along the route to better calculate when and where you’ll need to juice up.
All the new EV-oriented functions won’t be available for every electric car right off the bat, however. Apple said it’s currently working with BMW and Ford to bring their models into the mix, which means forthcoming i4 and Mustang Mach-E owners will likely be among the first to sample the new software. Considering how quickly CarPlay reached near-ubiquity, however, we doubt it’ll be restricted to those makes for long.
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