- Apple Maps is getting a major overhaul in iOS 13 that brings a new redesigned map and other features.
- It’ll be easier to get directions to favorite places at a glance, and Apple is adding its own answer to Google’s Street View, among other additions.
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Apple Maps has long played second fiddle to Google Maps, but the company is trying to change that in a big way with iOS 13.
The new software update will bring a variety of new features to Apple Maps when it launches later this year, such as a redesigned map that includes much more detail than the current one, the ability to build collections of favorite places, and a new Street View-like perspective.
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Apple Maps is just one of the several iPhone apps getting an upgrade with iOS 13. The company is also overhauling its Reminders app and implementing new features into its Photos app, among others.
Here’s a look at some of the best features coming to Apple Maps this fall based on my experience using the recently launched public beta.
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Apple’s answer to Google Street View is limited in its current capacity, but useful nonetheless. Based on the areas that currently support Look Around in the beta, it seems like Apple Maps will offer high-resolution imagery with navigation controls that feel even smoother than Google’s.
When trying out the feature while looking around the area near the Civic Center in San Francisco, I was impressed by how easy it was to jump between locations with Look Around, even if I wasn’t following a straight path. I could, for example, hop over to a block running perpendicular to the street I’m currently viewing with just a single tap. The movements also look more seamless and fluid in Look Around than in Street View.
Better transit information
Transit directions in the new version of Apple Maps will be more robust and detailed in iOS 13. Instead of just pulling up the closest options and providing a general time window for departures, the new Maps is much more specific. It will tell you the exact number of minutes until the next train departs and updates in real time to show delays.
It’s a small addition, but one that could make Apple’s navigation app a more fit Google Maps alternative.
Easier access to frequently visited places
In iOS 13, it will be easier to quickly get directions to frequently visited places in Apple Maps. The app will pin the places you’ve labeled as favorites to the home screen, making it easy to tap right into a destination as soon as you launch the app. That’s a big departure from the current version of Apple Maps, which just displays destinations like your job and recently searched places upon opening the app.
If you pull up to view the entire information card, you’ll also see your collections and places you’ve viewed recently. It’s a much richer set of information at a glance than what the current iteration of Maps offers.
iOS 13 introduces a new system-wide Dark Mode that will be available for all of Apple’s first-party apps, including Maps. And while it’s only a cosmetic benefit, it’s still a slick aesthetic that makes certain aspects of the map pop more than usual, such as public transit lines.
Collections of favorite places
Apple wants to make it easier to keep track of your favorite places. With the updated app, you’ll be able to build lists around certain themes and locations so that you can quickly find your favorite bars, restaurants, and other points of interest. These lists will be available on the home screen in Apple Maps underneath your favorites and Siri-suggested destinations.