Crowdsourced traffic incident reports have been a hallmark of Waze and Google Maps for years, and now it looks like that functionality will finally make its way to Apple Maps. As spotted by Roadshow, the iOS 14.5 beta updates Apple Maps to allow you to report when you see incidents on the road. In its current iteration, the feature offers limited on-screen controls. As you can see from the image MacRumors pulled from the beta, you can flag a roadblock as an accident, hazard or speed check.
By contrast, in Waze and Google Maps you have those options, as well as ones dedicated to lane closures, construction and more. However, what may help Apple convince iOS users to ditch Google’s apps once and for all is that you can access that functionality without touching your iPhone. You can speak to Siri to report both when you see a new incident and one that has already been cleared, thereby allowing you to keep your hands on the wheel throughout the entire process. At a time when governments globally are taking a strict stance on distracted driving, that’s a significant edge for Apple Maps. Naturally, the feature is also compatible with Apple CarPlay.
Beyond crowdsourced incident reporting for Maps, iOS 14.5 is shaping up to be a significant release. It includes a feature that allows you to unlock your iPhone via Face ID even while wearing a mask as long as you also have an Apple Watch on hand. It also includes support for Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 controllers and dual-SIM 5G. Notably, it will also allow you to set a third-party service Siri will work with by default when you ask the digital assistant to play music.