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Right turns: Apple rolls out Maps update in UAE

Alvin R. Cabral/Dubai
Filed on August 18, 2020 | Last updated on August 18, 2020 at 03.44 pm
The updated Apple Maps will allow easier navigation across the UAE.

Turn-by-turn directions now live, with full Arabic support

Apple on Tuesday announced a number of key updates for its Maps application in the UAE, enabling easier navigation across the nation and even within popular landmarks.

Apple Maps has come a long way since its initial release in 2012, witnessing steady growth throughout the years as users are able to rely on the app for navigation across Apple's ecosystem, which includes the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and CarPlay.

At present, Maps helps millions of users in over 200 countries. It is also integrated into a number of Apple's most-used apps, including Messages, Calendar, Photos, Weather and more.

The app now has turn-by-turn directions for the UAE, which will allow easier navigation across the nation. And in a further nod to Apple's commitment to cater to local preferences, the feature comes with full Arabic support.

Apple also said that Indoor Maps will be available for key landmarks in Dubai, including Dubai International Airport, The Dubai Mall and Dubai Festival City. Though unclear if other locations will follow suit, it won't be a surprise if this feature will be expanded to more places.

A number of other smart features have been added into Maps, including Collections that builds and shares lists of preferred locations, and Favourites that offers easy navigation of places users frequent daily.

Share ETA, meanwhile, sends the estimated time before arrival and even the ability to be followed and be informed of any delays, while Flight Status uses Siri intelligence to scan for information stored in Mail, Calendar or Wallet and proactively serves flight information for terminals, gate locations and departure times, as well as flight changes or cancellations for upcoming travel.

Apple's emphasis on security and privacy is also a key component of Maps; the app doesn't use any sign-in nor is connected to a user's Apple ID. Any data collected by Maps is associated with random identifiers that continually reset to ensure the best possible experience and to improve Maps.

Maps goes even further to obscure a user's location on Apple servers when searching for a location through a process called 'fuzzing'. It also converts the precise location where the search originated to a less-exact one after 24 hours and does not retain a history of what has been searched or where a user has been. 


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