Apple Maps prioritizes grocery, food delivery and medical searches

The changes should make it a bit easier to get through the coronavirus pandemic.

Chris Velazco/Engadget

To help users more easily find food and medical services during the coronavirus pandemic, Apple updated its Maps app, reprioritizing the searchable categories by placing grocery stores, restaurants that are providing delivery, and medical services at the top. The changes -- which were spotted by iPhone Ticker -- should make the app a little more useful as more and more people stay home. However, Google Maps has made more extensive adjustments that may make it a better choice for navigating these strange times.

Google Maps has been especially useful over the past month or so because it alerts users when a selected business is closed or has adjusted its hours due to COVID-19 concerns. Also, if a user searches for medical services, Google Maps tells them to call their doctor before visiting a location. This feature hopefully cuts down on people who needlessly go out in public and spread or contract the virus when seeking medical attention. While it’s certainly a good move for Apple to help users get the food or medical attention they need, these updates also emphasize the fact that the company is playing second fiddle to Google’s app. Time will tell if the rebuilt Apple Maps will help the company gain more users.