Apple Maps has been updated to show nearby COVID-19 vaccination centres to its users in the United States. Eligible users can find nearby vaccination centres from the search bar in Apple Maps or can ask Siri “Where can I get a COVID vaccination?” This is the latest step from Apple in helping curb the coronavirus pandemic. The company also has built a feature in Siri that will give information on the novel coronavirus from trusted outlets and also provide crucial information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the latest update to Apple Maps, the company has provided a feature that helps users in the US find the nearest pharmacies and providers of COVID-19 vaccinations. Apple shows vaccination centres from VaccineFinder, the free online vaccine locator service developed by Boston Children’s Hospital. The locator service has updated information on vaccination centres in the US and can also provide details for COVID-19 testing centres.
Along with the US, Apple Maps also provides data for testing locations in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Apple Maps also includes placecards for each vaccination centre. Each placecard includes the operating hours, address, and phone numbers along with a link to the website so Apple Maps users can learn more about the available vaccines. At present, Apple has included over 20,000 locations across the country and will incorporate more in the coming weeks. Along with this, Apple has included a facility to let businesses update information regarding COVID-19 testing and vaccination locations on the Apple Business Register webpage. After this, businesses can show special shopping hours on Apple Maps to users.
A mobility data trends tool has been released by Apple by collecting data from Apple Maps. This data provides information to concerned authorities and the company claims that it can also help in forming new public policies by studying the change in the way people commute.