Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Maps Guides

Adam Chandler:

Some of my gripes with Maps on iOS 16:

[…]

Guides, they are prominently featured on the floating tile where you would search but I truly don’t know why. I’ve tried to use them but I don’t really care what a famous chef likes to eat when she’s in Atlanta. I’m nowhere near Atlanta.

For once, a criticism about Apple Maps that has nothing to do with its points-of-interest data.

I have been meaning to write about Guides for a while and this jogged my memory. Apple says “Guides help you find amazing things to see and do in cities around the world” which sounds, to me, like a way to explore my city or at least stuff in my general area. But the first Guide suggested for me when I pull up the search card is “National Parks Perfect for Stargazing”, which only contains parks in the United States. The others are similarly international.

It took me a while to find any Guides for Calgary — where I live — because there is no way I can see to search for them. In addition to the random assortment suggested on the search card, there is a massive list sorted by creator, and select cities can be found on an Explore card — but Calgary is not one of those cities. However you might see Guides listed on the results card if you search for a city. That is, if I want to find suggestions for great pasta spots in Calgary, I need to search for the city I live in and then scroll down the card to find relevant guides. I find that unintuitive, to say the least.

Right now, Guides in Maps feels like an unrealized marketing idea instead of a user-facing feature which means it is, as Chandler writes, more intrusive than helpful. Most of the time, I just want to know when a local business is open and how to get there. Anything that makes it feel like those tasks are secondary is unwelcome.