Apple may be known for building amazing gadgets, but the local business listings on Apple Maps are known to be lacking. The company is now taking steps to fix the situation.
On Tuesday, Apple released Apple Maps Connect, a new feature that lets business owners verify and submit details about their business and its location. Business owners can now check to make sure their address, phone number and business description are correct. They can also flesh out their own Apple Maps profile by adding information such as hours of operation, the products and services the business offers and its website URL to make the listing more helpful to Apple Map users. (Owners can also add links to their social media pages, including Twitter, Facebook and Yelp, to encourage customers to engage and follow them.)
Business owners must sign into the Apple Maps Connect tool using their Apple ID and password. Corrected information will be verified using a personal identification number (PIN) and an automated call to the business’s phone number.
“Updates or new listings will show up within a week or could show up more quickly depending on the situation and whether the listing was flagged and/or there’s additional verification required,” writes Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land. “Beyond this, Apple has additional fraud prevention measures in place but didn’t discuss them extensively."
For now, the new tool is only available to U.S. businesses, but may eventually expand internationally.
Many Apple iPhone and iPad users have bypassed Apple Maps and instead used Google Maps because Google's service is often considered to have more accurate and detailed navigation and location listings. (Google has long allowed businesses to edit their listings.) Now Apple is taking a cue from the search giant and getting businesses more actively involved in creating their own listings.
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Photo: Apple Maps