Apple Maps update lets you explore cities in 3D

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The iOS 15 updates to Apple Maps include 3D imagery and much more.
The iOS 15 updates to Apple Maps include 3D imagery and much more.
Photo: Apple

With iOS 15’s biggest-ever update to Apple Maps, the Cupertino tech giant said users in several major cities can experience a 3D view with rich detail, enhanced navigation, immersive walking directions and more.

The update expands on the new map Apple said it spent years building. Now available in London, Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area, 3D mapping rolls out this year and next year in additional cities.

Later this year, 3D mapping comes to iPhones in Philadelphia, San Diego and Washington, D.C., Apple said. Support for additional cities, including Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, unfolds next year.

The new city experience offers rich details, driving routes with better navigation, immersive walking directions shown in augmented reality and more.

“Maps is the best way to navigate the world: It is easy to use, beautifully designed, and built with privacy at its core. With this update, we are pushing Maps even further, providing more ways for users to discover the natural beauty of the world and explore cities through a new 3D view,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services. “Our goal has always been to build the best and most accurate map in the world. The upgrades in Apple Maps are a continuation of that effort.”

Explore cities with detailed maps

Apple Maps introduces a new way to navigate cities with a 3D map that offers detail for neighborhoods, commercial districts, marinas, buildings and other spots.

Users can see elevation details across a city, new road labels, and hundreds of custom-designed landmarks. Currently, these include Coit Tower in San Francisco, Dodger Stadium in LA, the Statue of Liberty in New York City and the Royal Albert Hall in London. More will roll out soon. And a nighttime mode with a moonlit glow activates at dusk.

Enhanced navigation for a better driving experience

The new Apple Maps update improves driving directions.
The new Apple Maps update improves driving directions.
Photo: Apple

Maps now features a greater number of road details to help drivers navigate through cities more easily and more safely.

Turn lanes, medians, bus and taxi lanes, and crosswalks are clearly displayed to help drivers navigate busy intersections. Highways with overlapping complex interchanges are rendered in a road-level 3D view, making it easier to see upcoming traffic conditions. Route planning provides the estimated time of arrival for future departures based on expected traffic.

The new navigation will come to CarPlay later this year, Apple said.

Never miss a stop with transit updates

Better transit directions can interact with your Apple Watch.
Better transit directions can interact with your Apple Watch.
Photo: Apple

Maps offers improvements for public transit riders. Nearby stations are prominently displayed at the top of the screen. Users can pin their favorite lines in Maps so the best route is just one tap away.

And once a user selects a transit route, Maps will automatically notify them when it’s time to disembark as they approach their final destination. Riders can even keep track on Apple Watch.

These updates build on transit features already available in Maps. For example, real-time transit provides detailed transit schedules, live departure times, arrival times, the current location of a bus or train en route and system connections. Maps also includes important real-time information, such as outages.

Immersive walking directions

Walking directions are now immersive, showing you the actual streets and places.
Walking directions are now immersive, showing you the actual streets and places.
Photo: Apple

With iOS 15, Apple Maps introduces step-by-step walking guidance in augmented reality. Users can simply raise their iPhone to scan buildings in the area, and Maps generates a highly accurate position to deliver detailed directions that can be viewed in the context of the real world.

Discover new places with curated Guides

You can get curated Guides to cities right on your iPhone.
You can get curated Guides to cities right on your iPhone.
Photo: Apple

Maps makes it easy to discover amazing things to see and do in cities around the world. Its curated Guides are created from a selection of trusted resources.

In iOS 15, users can tap the Explore Guides button in Maps to access more than a thousand expertly curated guides that include recommendations from brands such as Time Out, The Washington Post, the National Park Foundation, Complex, and The Infatuation.

Users can save Guides. They automatically update when new places are added, so users always have the latest recommendations. Users can even create their own personal Guides of favorite places to share with friends and family.

A new interactive globe

Zoom in on the world itself.
Zoom in on the world itself.
Photo: Apple

Apple Maps now offers an interactive three-dimensional globe. It shows Earth’s natural beauty with elements such as textures and contours. Users can see vibrant details in mountain ranges, deserts, rainforests, oceans and more. Now you can explore even the most remote and precious locations on the planet right from your iPhone, Apple said.