Apple is finally allowing businesses the ability to customize their Maps listings

It’s not yet certain that Apple Maps will replace Google Maps (I just got). Multiple stopping methodsApple believes it has another way of closing the feature gap: Giving stores more control over what you see. The company has LaunchedApple Business Connect allows any business to personalize their location cards in apps such as Maps, Messages Siri, and wallet. They can upload their own photos, invite actions through other apps (such booking a restaurant via OpenTable), and view the most recent promotions.

Apple will verify with businesses before giving control of a locationcard. Stores need only use their Apple ID to sign-up. Although Business Connect is available worldwide at first, the showcases will be limited to the US. The company promises that they will be available in other countries within the “coming months”.

Apple is believed to be exploring ways to monetize Maps. According to reports, the iPhone maker is preparing for Bring search ads to MapsAs soon as next year. If this were true, personalized store information could help Apple’s bottom line — a business might be more likely to pay for ads if they knew it would lead to more sales.

No matter what Apple’s motivations, custom cards promise to improve Maps for everyday users. You will be able to see more detailed information about local businesses and make it easier to do everyday tasks such as booking a hotel or ordering groceries. It can also be useful for sharing locations with friends via Messages. Apple may be a little late on this front (companies have been monitoring their Google Maps profiles over years), but it’s possible to notice the difference.

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