Facepalm: Apple Maps never quite lived up to the high standards expected from the Cupertino-based company's products. In fact, it was outright abysmal at launch, prompting Tim Cook to issue a public apology for the blunder - not a great way to kick off your tenure as CEO.

Apple has spent the past several years working to bolster the embarrassment yet as TechCrunch points out, it's still no close to being a world class service. If Apple wants to poach Google Maps users, it needs to step its game up and that's precisely what it intends to do.

The tech giant has been collecting first-party data from iPhones and a fleet of road-based vehicles (and apparently even aerial drones) that'll be put to use in the next iOS 12 beta for some users. Described as a full reset of Maps, the improved app will be more responsive to changes in roadways and construction, more visually rich and feature more detailed ground coverage according to TechCrunch who recently conducted an interview with Apple SVP Eddy Cue.

"We wanted to take this to the next level. We have been working on trying to create what we hope is going to be the best map app in the world, taking it to the next step. That is building all of our own map data from the ground up."

It'll also be a lot faster to update. "We'll be doing this even more with our new maps, [with] the ability to change the map real-time and often.

The revised Maps project is over four years in the making. To be clear, it'll completely replace the existing patchwork of mapping data from partners like OpenStreetMap, TomTom and others with its own map data.

TechCrunch says users in San Francisco will be the first to gain access to the new data before a broader rollout across Northern California in the fall. Eventually, all versions of iOS will benefit from the new mapping efforts.

Images courtesy TechCrunch