Having resisted adverts for almost a decade, it looks like Apple Maps will soon tread in the footsteps of rival apps from Google, Waze and others.
As with mapping apps from Google, Waze and Yelp, the move will likely see Apple show adverts for related local businesses when you search for something. For example, if you search for pizza, you’ll get the usual search results, but above these there could be local restaurants who have paid to appear before their rivals.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman writes: “I believe the engineering work is already underway to launch search ads in the Apple Maps app, and we should begin to see it be implemented sometime next year.”
Hopefully these adverts won’t be as obnoxious (and, all too often, irrelevant) as banner ads seen at the top of most website pages. Instead, they are expected to appear alongside regular Apple Maps search results, and ideally they’ll be relevant to whatever is being searched for.
Although adverts are expected in mapping apps from other companies, it has been a long-held belief among Apple users that by paying a premium for the hardware, they are insulated from being exposed to revenue-generating adverts. This mindset differs to users of freely-available apps like Google Maps and Waze, as their no-cost nature means adverts are to be expected.
But the tides are shifting. Apple already displays adverts in the search results of its App Store, promoting certain apps above their rivals when relevant keywords are searched for. Apple is also planning to show adverts in the ‘Today’ page of the App Store, and banner adverts are already present in the Stocks and Apple News apps.