There's nothing more frustrating than your preferred navigation app not working when you really need it to. If you're an Apple Maps user, hopefully you had a backup app on your phone today.
Apple Maps stopped working for users worldwide for several hours on Friday. Apple's system status site showed issues with both routing and search. It wasn't limited to the phone, either -- the problem also affected those using a Watch or Apple CarPlay. Apple was clearly aware of the problem, since it updated its system status site relatively soon after reports surfaced, but it didn't immediately return a request for comment as to the source of the outage. As of 1:30 p.m. Eastern, the system status site showed that the problem had been resolved. Everything's under control; situation normal.
In the event you're a one-map-app type of person, it'd be wise to snag up one of Apple Maps' competitors, like Waze or Google Maps, if you really need navigation in the event of future outages. I wouldn't go so far as to print out Mapquest directions like it's 1999, but hey, whatever floats your boat.
Those of us who live in Apple's sandbox have long believed that Maps lags behind Google's offering, but over time, it's grown better. I didn't even mind being forced to use it in Apple CarPlay. Thankfully, that's set to change in the near future, as the forthcoming iOS 12 will finally in CarPlay, including both Google Maps and Waze.
(Hat tip to 9to5Mac!)