- Apple has partnered with Ito World to add bike-share station locations to its Apple Maps app.
- App users can now type "bike sharing" into the map search to see the locations of nearby bike-share stations, for both municipally- and privately-operated systems.
- The feature works on maps for 179 cities in 36 countries, and the companies plan to add more.
Apple Maps has gotten a bad rap since its launch in 2012, when it replaced Google Maps as the default mapping app on iOS devices. From a lack of features to various bugs and providing blatantly wrong directions, it hasn't exactly been Apple users' mapping app of choice and many users called for the return of Google Maps. But improvements, including the bike-share search feature, have prompted some users to come back around.
Searching for bike-share stations on Google Maps works, but only to a certain degree. It doesn't always show every station that exists and it only shows a handful of stations at one time, rather than a full, comprehensive visual depiction of all stations.
The feature also had been available in a limited manner on Apple Maps, but the new iteration is a significant upgrade. The partnership allows Apple to simply integrate Ito World's existing dataset of bike-share systems rather than having to individually populate every city's information itself.
A number of other transportation and mobility apps already prominently display bike-share stations. But including the information on Apple Maps is beneficial because it provides an all-encompassing view of what's available on city streets at a quick glance, instead of just from a transportation perspective. One downside is that unlike other mobility-centric apps, Apple Maps only shows the bike-share station locations and not bike availability or the number of open docking spaces. It's also not set up to pinpoint the locations of dockless shared bikes.