Apple’s New Map, Expansion #6
Midwest U.S.


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In early October 2019, Apple began testing its next expansion area: the Midwest.

Once this latest expansion becomes available, Apple’s new map will cover 32.8% of the U.S.’s land area and 59.3% of its population:

It will also fully cover five of the ten most populous U.S. states...

...and the ten largest U.S. cities:

* * *

In terms of land area, this latest expansion is the smallest of the last four:

But it’s the second largest in terms of population:

And many of the states in this latest update—such as Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan—have more miles of road than most other states:

* * *

On average, Apple has been expanding its new map every 76 days—suggesting that this latest expansion might go live, for all users, sometime in December:

Then again, Apple has said as recently as mid-September 2019 (when it updated Maps’s webpage) that its new map would cover the U.S. by the end of 2019:

With less than three months remaining in 2019 and 67.2% of the U.S. still to cover after the Midwest...

...Apple’s Midwest expansion might be coming sooner than December.

But when?

Before releasing its last four expansions, Apple spent 24 to 49 days publicly testing them:

And the more populated the area, the more days Apple spent testing:

If these patterns continue, Apple will likely spend around 40 days testing its Midwest expansion (given the size of its population)...

...before releasing it sometime around November 11, 2019 (40 days after Apple first started testing it).

And this would give Apple enough time for another expansion this year...

* * *

(After the Midwest)

Apple Maps’s data collection vehicles first visited the final parts of the Midwest expansion area in May 2018:

Given that the map’s expansion has roughly followed the progress of these vehicles, it’s likely that, after expanding to the Midwest, Apple will expand next to the Pacific Northwest, the Southeast, the Central U.S., or perhaps some combination of these areas:

Expanding to the Central U.S. would allow Apple to cover the most area. But expanding to the Southeast would allow Apple to cover the greatest share of the U.S. population:

Given that Apple seems to be prioritizing population over land area...

...the Southeast seems likeliest for Expansion #7.