It's slowly getting better, but try as it might, Apple just can't top Google's Maps service when it comes to digital cartography. That's not to say it isn't still keeping up the chase though — a newly uncovered patent points towards a raft of new features Apple has planned for the troubled service.
The "Interactive Map" patent points towards a fresh layering system for the company's iOS Maps app, going far deeper than what's currently offered. On top of current standards such as Satellite View, Traffic Overlay and Weather, the patent offers features such as tapping a single road to instantly be shown businesses and points of interest sitting on it, or junctions.
Individual layers could be tuned too, such as one solely for local eateries, while tapping individually highlighted locations would throw up details specific to each — hitting an airport might show flight details, while a restaurant's menu may be displayed. Basically, it sounds a lot more Google-fied, right down to the integration of ads within layers.
Of course, such a system would live or die based on the quality of Apple's information sources, something that has crippled the likes of Siri. But all the patent's proposed features sound good — here's hoping some of it trickles into the next iOS update. [Apple Insider]