Apple Maps’ built-in ratings and photos system is rolling out to the US and Canada, letting users add their own information to points of interest on the map (via MacRumors). The system uses a thumbs up / thumbs down rating, and currently exists alongside Apple Maps’ existing integrations like Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Foursquare.
According to Apple, the feature started rolling out in the US and Canada on Monday, so there aren’t many places that have ratings yet. However, an Apple spokesperson told The Verge that the feature launched with iOS 14 and has been available in other countries like Japan or Australia for some time. That makes it possible to see how they show up by looking at point of interest cards abroad, where we can see the number of ratings and what percentage of them are positive for the location overall, as well as for any specific amenities that users rated.
According to Apple’s introduction screen for the feature, Maps will suggest contributions for you based on your device’s location history, as well as photos in your photos library (the analysis for which Apple says happens on-device). Your name also doesn't appear to be publicly linked to the ratings you provide.
So far, the ratings and photos system is rudimentary — you’re not able to leave any written feedback, and the app is still pulling photos, reviews, and ratings from other sources like Yelp or Tripadvisor. However, it does seem like Apple could be laying the groundwork here for a Google Maps-like system with data provided by Apple Maps users instead of being pulled in from other sources. If Apple does go that route, it could be bad news for Yelp, which is already competing with Google’s user reviews and photos in search results.
Ratings aren’t the only user-generated information Apple’s added to maps — it also added the ability to report accidents, hazards, and speed checks with iOS 14.5.