Find My iPhone (iCloud, Apple Maps tiles 002)

Nearly two years after supplanting the stock Google Maps iOS app with its own much-maligned service that resulted in Scott Forstall’s ousting, Apple’s web-based Find My iPhone service available over at iCloud.com seems to have adopted Apple Maps backend for all users, reports 9to5Mac.

Previously, using the web-based version of Find My iPhone used to rely on Google Maps data. The move could indicate plans to roll out a web-based Apple Maps accessible to anyone through a web browser, allowing the iPhone maker to better compete with Google Maps.

“Apple started slowly rolling out the feature to its iCloud beta site for select users earlier this year before pulling it, but it now seems to have replaced Google for all users of iCloud.com’s Find My iPhone feature,” 9to5Mac’s Jordan Kahn reports.

The move is especially significant in light of Apple’s September job listing for software engineers looking to “design, develop and maintain complex front-end code for a new secret project”. Discovered by 9to5Mac, the now removed job post said specifically the service would include “an advanced web platform.”

And last month, another job listing for a “talented and passionate web developer” to help make Apple Maps “work seamlessly on the web” surfaced, leading some pundits to speculate the service could gain a full-on web-based front-end that would be accessible on any computer through a web browser, just like Google Maps.

Siri on Yosemite already taps Bing and on iOS, users can change their default web search engine to Yahoo, Bing or DuckDuckGo so bringing Apple Maps to the web may not be as far-fetched as it sounds and would represent a natural progression of the service.

Find My iPhone (iCloud, Apple Maps tiles)

Apple’s mapping solution is currently available via native applications on the Mac, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. In addition, third-party developers are allowed to embed Apple Maps in their own apps using MapKit APIs.

Finally, a job listing posted earlier this month for a ‘Maps Community Client Software Engineer’ hinted the Maps team is hard at work improving community crowdsourcing and enhancing Siri and Passbook integration.

Although much criticized over its widely reported teething issues like gross inaccuracies and flawed terrain data, Apple Maps have greatly improved in the past eighteen months. For example, various reports have confirmed that Apple is now calling businesses looking to verify user-reported address corrections and adding new data providers to enhance business listings in its in-house mapping service.

Last week, the Cupertino firm added a total of nine new locations to the 3D Flyover feature, including areas in France, landmarks in Arizona and other popular spots in the United States, New Zealand and Sweden.

Do you see yourself using Apple’s Maps instead of Google’s on the web?

For what it’s worth, maps.apple.com redirects to the iOS Apple Maps microsite.

[9to5Mac]

  • Osama Muhammed

    well, f*ck.

  • GuyBey0ndC00L

    I knew this was coming sooner or later but please apple can we have options to choose.

  • Wraith

    That´s really bad, where I live the apple’s maps are a total mess.

  • vbtwo31984

    I don’t see myself using Apple maps instead of Google even on an iPhone, never mind the web. They still have horrible inaccuracies in the map itself – it’s good that they’re trying to get their business directory in order, but if the map itself is wrong, then what’s the point? It’s even wrong in NYC, not in the middle of nowhere! There are streets that have changed more than 2 years ago that are still showing up the old way on Apple maps. It’s completely useless for directions.

    • Jacob S

      Forget about NYC. Apples own buildings here in Cupertino is messed up in Apple maps.

  • Cody

    Apple Maps wasn’t a Scott Forstall fuck*p. It was Tim Cooks and that people. That is why Forstall was fired because he didn’t give an apology, why would he? He didn’t want that mess, he didn’t want to release it. But Tim Cook decided to.

    • I always thought this was obvious from the start. Apple needed to put the blame on someone and rumour had it that Scott Forstall didn’t exactly get along with everyone so the blame was put on him and he was fired.

  • Fanboy 

    No way Apple can compete with Google’s Maps simply based on the fact that Google’s business listings are bar none. Google Maps is the one & only thing that I still can’t switch from.

  • Casey

    Apple Maps has been improving a lot over time and a web version will mean a wider audience of users, issue reports, and thus an overall better product. So I say great, and if you don’t want to use it, nobody’s taking away your oh-so-precious Google Maps.

  • Manuel Molina

    Good luck finding your shit if it gets lost now, you’re using Apple Maps now.

  • Haha, next thing you know, people will be searching for their phone 3 or more blocks away from where it actually is…

  • iKhalil

    Pretty good, now I if my iPhone get lost I Will find it in the deepest lake in the city

  • WolfgangHoltz

    So nice of you Apple because your maps sucks here.

  • Матт Реякіпѕ

    People overrate Google Maps. Google Maps is not that much better than Apple Maps anymore. And if you’re only talking in the US, Apple Maps is as good as Google Maps. Recently I tried finding a place using both Google Maps and Apple Maps. Apple took me to a place that used to exist but went out of business, Google Maps took me to a location to a place that never existed.

    • Scott

      No, they aren’t even close. I travel for a living and the one sure way to get completely lost in a city is to use Apple Maps. It really is that bad. From DC where it gave me a 23minute, 7 mile route to go 1.2 miles around the corner to St Maarten where it had our hotel in the middle of the bay and decided that it would protect us by taking us away from it, it’s really that bad.

  • ARX8

    Only if you wanna end up in the middle of nowhere