Life just got easier for commuters and adventurers who like having bikes available without needing to own one. Apple Maps has been updated to include data from Ito World, which means it now knows where stations are for 176 bike share systems in 179 cities around the world.
TechCrunch reports that the data in Apple Maps doesn't include how many bikes are available at each sharing station or how many parking spaces are open. So, for users that often rely on these shared bikes for regular travel, Apple Maps won't be a big help there. This information could eventually be added, but for now, the bike sharing services' dedicated apps will be necessary.
However, Apple Maps' new feature will shine when any bikers travel a new town and want to explore on a human-powered pair of wheels. Since there are, as Ito World's data indicates, dozens and dozens of bike sharing services, you can't go to a different city and just expect to find your familiar service.
Need a Ford GoBike in San Francisco? Need a Divvy in Chicago? How about a Citi Bike in New York? Typing "Bike sharing" into Apple Maps' search bar will find the stations of the local service, so you'll know where to pick up and drop off a bike.
The addition of bicycle sharing helps Apple Maps move ever closer in the race to catch up to Google Maps. Let's be honest, bike sharing isn't equivalent to the Mario Kart skin Google rolled out to Google Maps for MAR10 Day, but it's a good start.
- Hitting the road? Don't forget to take the best road trip planner apps along with you!