When Apple brought its own Maps app to the iPhone in 2012, the underlying databases had a lot of problems. They didn’t include nearly as many points of interest (buildings, stores, landmarks) as Google. Addresses were sometimes wrong. Satellite view showed bridges and roads melting into the sea. In a remarkable apology letter, Apple CEO Tim Cook recommended using one of Maps’ rivals.

But some of Maps’ features are pretty great—and now that Maps is a Mac app, too (Figure 10-23), there’s some handy synergy with the iPhone and iPad. You can look up an address on the Mac and then wirelessly shoot it over to the phone for navigation in the car, for example. Or simply walk over to your Mac; thanks to Handoff (Handoff), whatever map was on your phone is now on your Mac. And Maps’ smarts are wired into other OS X programs, like Calendar, Contacts, and Safari.

And in El Capitan, Maps has gotten smarter: It can now propose public-transportation routes—complete with the times and names of subways, trains, and buses—in seven U.S. cities, with more to come.

Meet Maps

When you open Maps, you see a blue dot that represents your current location. You can manipulate the map in all the usual ways:

  • Zoom in or out using the keyboard (press⌘-plus or⌘-minus), the mouse (double-click to zoom in, add the Option key to zoom out—or just click the or ⌘ buttons), or the trackpad (pinch two fingers to zoom ...

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