This story is part of, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.
At Apple’sDeveloper Conference On Monday, the company announced that its Maps app will receive a new coat of paint and new AR features with iOS 15 that make the native navigation app more competitive with Google’s offering.
The core of Apple Maps is the map itself, which now includes richer elevation data, more road colors, rich labels, and 3D landmarks, featuring San Francisco’s Coit Tower, the Ferry Building, and the Golden Gate Bridge. which were demonstrated during the WWDC21 presentation. At night, the 3D buildings on the map feature a moonlight glow that doesn’t add much function, but looks really cool.
When it’s time to hit the road, users will enjoy a closer view of more detailed streets with lane markers, specialty lanes such as turn lanes, bike lanes and bus / taxi lanes, crosswalks and more. . Road and street data is also presented in 3D, so you can see complex flyovers and interchanges overlaid in three dimensions as you drive. Apple Maps also seems to run smoother, to better take advantage of Apple’s high-frame rate devices.
Not just for show, Apple believes that more detailed map data can give drivers an early idea of which lane they should be in, which can improve safety and traffic.
Outside of the car, Apple Maps is also adding new features that make walking and public transportation easier. Users will be able to pin nearby transit stops and station information on their iPhone and Apple Watch devices, and receive automatic updates and notifications as they travel and approach their stop.
On foot, a new augmented reality feature allows users to scan nearby buildings in the area with the iPhone’s camera to determine their precise position for more precise walking directions, which are also presented in augmented reality. The new feature is similar in function and form to the AR feature of Google Maps Live View that Google began publicly testing in 2019 and continues to develop today.
New AR mapping and navigation features are coming to iOS devices with the release of iOS 15, likely in September. Rich 3D map data will be added to thelater this year.