Apple received serious flak for its disastrous rollout of Apple Maps two years ago (read more about that here), and has finally wised up by allowing businesses to claim and alter their listings on the brand’s eponymous mapping service. After logging-in with an Apple ID, business owners are then encouraged to go in and create or claim a business listing. Existing listings are pulled from Yelp, and can then be selected for ownership. After verifying the location’s phone number, the owner can then add details or correct an already-available listing. In order to improve the accuracy of the locations listed, the interface also asks the user to drag a pin onto the specific building. This confirms the location and user-generates a more accurate map for the service. Of particular interest to those tracking iBeacon deployments in travel/retail applications, the system also allows high-traffic business owners (those with over 1 million visitors annually) to register iBeacons. This marks the beginnings of an Apple iBeacon registry that could very well lead to further commercial deployments involving Apple. It’s not a departure to envision an iBeacon/iAd link-up that provides retailers with real-time iBeacon data and other insights into customers via the iBeacon registry. Brands might also be encouraged to market across this network at some point, providing a one-point entry into the iBeacon network owned by Apple. Altogether, this is interesting news as Apple steps into small business territory dominated by Google, Yelp and TripAdvisor. However, at the time of this writing, the interface was loading exceptionally slowly and didn’t provide a seamless user experience after freezing repeatedly and requiring multiple attempts to complete the required verification steps. If only the error wasn’t the last step in the process! The interface is currently down, and returning a “NORESULTS_GENERAL_ERROR” message. Looks like Apple Maps continues to highlight less-than-stellar rollouts of new product features. This article will be updated with any further news on the status of the business claiming process. Please comment below if you were able or unable to successfully claim an owned listing.

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