Apple Maps could inform users about how busy their destination is, based on anonymised location data: Report
Apple’s Location Services’ settings now mentions a new capability - using anonymised location information to inform users with an estimate of how crowded a specific location is.
With the novel coronavirus pandemic showing signs of spiking again in the country, it is becoming more important than ever to stay safe and make sure one is not unnecessarily exposed to the dangerous virus. This also means one must be careful before stepping out to visit a mall, store or any usually crowded area - and try to visit it when it is less busy.
Apple understands the importance of this, which seems to be why the company is reportedly working on a new feature that will show users how busy a particular place they want to visit is, before they leave their homes, according to a report by 9to5Mac.
The report cites a post on Reddit, which informed users that Apple's Location Services' setting for the Privacy menu now mentions a new capability - to leverage the power of anonymised location information to inform users with an estimate of how many users are present at a particular place.
According to Apple's new privacy section, the routing and traffic section now says, “when you open an app near a point of interest (for example, a business or park) your iPhone will send location data in an anonymous and encrypted form to Apple which Apple may aggregate and let users know if that point of interest is open and how busy it is.”
If this sounds like Apple is ‘crowdsourcing' the information from users who are sharing anonymised location information, that's probably because its the most reliable way for the company to realistically measure users in a particular area. Google already informs users about how crowded places usually are on its search results page as well. However, it remains to be seen how effective Apple's solution will be in India, where a majority of users use Android devices.