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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple has made so many improvements to the Maps app in iOS 15 that it's almost an entirely different experience. There are better driving directions, improved transit directions, and more immersive AR-based walking directions.

iOS-15-Maps-Feature.jpg

The Maps design has once again been updated, and you can see everything at an incredible level of detail that wasn't available before, especially in cities and in places where there was no detail before. This guide walks through all of the changes that have been introduced in the Maps app in iOS 15.

Updated Driving Maps

When using Maps for driving directions, more detailed road information is available. Maps will make turn lanes, crosswalks, and bike lanes clear so you know where you're supposed to be.

If there's a complex interchange that needs to be navigated, Maps will shift over into a street-level perspective to cut down on the confusion. All of this is included on the dedicated driving map, which also highlights current traffic incidents and conditions like road closures so you know what to expect on your route.

ios-15-traffic-map.jpg

Maps in iOS 15 has Explore, Driving, Transit, and Satellite maps to choose from, and it's the driving map that's the new addition. There is a new interface for picking a map, with previews of what each map looks like.

More Detailed City Maps

Maps in iOS 15 is more detailed in all locations, but in select cities, Apple has upped the detail even further. Roads, neighborhoods, trees, and buildings are shown in full detail, and there are 3D representations of landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge.

maps-ios-15-new-city-view.jpg
iOS 15 left, iOS 14 right​

Cities with 3D landmarks and high levels of detail include San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and London. Apple has also rendered its Infinite Loop and Apple Park campuses in 3D, and this is a feature that will expand to additional cities in the future.

ios-15-city-3d-view.jpg

Apple has also updated the Apple Maps night/dark mode with new colors and a fresh look, and commercial districts are highlighted.

ios-15-night-mode.jpg

AR Walking Instructions

Walking directions in iOS 15 can now be shown in augmented reality, making it easier to get where you need to go, especially in situations where the directions are tricky. The AR mode offers step-by-step directions when walking, and you can enter it by scanning the buildings around you when prompted after initiating a route.

ios-15-maps-ar-walking-directions.jpg

To get AR walking directions, an iPhone that has an A12 chip or later is required. The A12 was first used in the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, which came out in 2018. So 2018 and newer iPhones are compatible with the augmented reality feature.Globe View

With iOS 15, if you continue to zoom out until you can zoom no further, you reach a new globe view that lets you spin around the world and drill into new areas. Prior to iOS 15, there was an option to zoom out to a world map, but not a full globe.

ios-15-maps-globe-view.jpg

The Globe view is easier to navigate than the prior world map, with better pinch in and pinch out gestures and smoother scrolling.

ios-15-maps-details.jpg
iOS 15 left, iOS 14 right​

To enhance this view, Apple has added more details for mountain ranges, deserts, forests, and ocean. If you zoom into the Andes, for example, Apple has detailed topographical information and you can get information on each mountain peak like elevation, coordinates, distance, and more.

ios-15-maps-mountain-details.jpg

Set Leaving and Arriving Times

When getting directions in the Maps app, iOS 15 has a feature that lets you choose a time to arrive or a time to leave, allowing you to get prospective commuting lengths ahead of time.

arrive-by-maps.jpg

Tapping on "Leaving Now" next to "My Location" when getting directions has options for "Leave at" or "Arrive by" times to select dates and specific times.

Transit Updates

In cities with updated maps, the transit map has been updated with a more detailed view that shows major bus routes. Frequent transit riders can see all of the departures that are listed near them and pin their favorite lines so they always show at the top of the Maps interface.

ios-15-maps-transit.jpg

While on public transit, there's an updated user interface that makes it easier for users to see and interact with their routes in a one-handed operation mode, useful when there are no seats available.

ios-15-maps-transit-2.jpg

As a stop approaches on public transit, Maps will send a notification that it's nearing time to disembark.

New Place Cards

Place cards for businesses, landmarks, restaurants, and more have been updated with a new design, with Apple providing details about nearby places, other spots at the same location, Guide availability, and more. Apple is still using Yelp to pull in information like reviews.

ios-15-maps-place-cards.jpg

Apple says that it's easier to find and interact with information for businesses or explore details about cities. Physical features like mountain ranges now have their own place cards with details like elevation.

Guide Updates

Apple added a dedicated Guides Home that houses editorially curated guides with tips on what to do in a city where you live or where you're visiting.

ios-15-maps-guide-hub.jpg

Search Improvements

Search in Maps has been improved and search results can now be filtered by options like specific cuisine, whether a restaurant is open, whether a restaurant offers takeout, and more.

ios-15-maps-search.jpg

If you move around the map after executing a search, the Maps app will automatically update the search results to the new location.
User Accounts and Feedback

There's now a Maps user account that houses Maps preferences like direction mode, toll and highway avoidance options, transit options, and more.

ios-15-maps-profile.jpg

It also aggregates Favorites, Guides, Ratings, and Photos in addition to providing quick access to reporting issues and accidents.[*]iOS 15: How to Find User Settings in Maps

Weather Warnings

If there are weather conditions that will affect your route, Maps in iOS 15 will let you know. If there's flooding on a road, for example, Maps will reroute you around the flooding, or let you know about it so you can avoid the trip.

extreme-weather-maps-ios-15.jpg

Guide Feedback

Have questions about Maps in iOS 15, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Article Link: Everything New in the iOS 15 Maps App: Updated Details, AR Walking Directions, Globe View and More
 
Last edited:

WeatherWeasel

macrumors regular
May 6, 2021
109
60
Des Moines, Iowa
I am anticipating using this improvement. My wife used to have the GPS in her Volvo, but in 2020 that was now an option after the lease. Rather than spend 1200 to put one on, the phone app will be great. I used to use Garmin before any of us used an app and it was detailed, much like the preview above. So When we are on the road, I am looking forward to this app. Hoping it comes out soon with no glitches. They should try it out in Northern Michigan in the upper penninsula, where gps units go bonkers.
 
Comment

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,544
1,642
Colorado Springs, CO
But can I set even one crummy waypoint to indicate MY preference for a route and not Tim Cook's?
People may think that’s not needed but in Colorado and other point of interest heavy states half the trip is which way you’re going. Sometimes the entire trip is in a circle through the mountains and back. Waypoints are much needed.
 
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LeadingHeat

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2015
739
1,819
I’m excited to try some of these new features out. The jump to more natural navigation language from Siri (“go past this light, and at the next, turn right” for instance) was so refreshing. Then the ability to mark where a cop is hiding behind a bush ready to give you a speeding ticket, or mark where someone crashed into a telephone pole, was also a great addition.

Here’s to hoping these will be just as great going forward! Next looking to ditch Yelp. Every time I want to read more reviews than 3 I have to redownload the app 😂
 
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Kylo83

macrumors 68000
Apr 2, 2020
1,762
6,463
Waze is still miles better, apple maps doesn’t show you the speed your going and the camera support in the U.K. is very poor, I like having in CarPlay the speed limit and my speed
 
Comment

subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,616
3,470
These improvements look wonderful, but what I hope for most is improvement in reliable data. Apple Maps still fails me more often than Google. Most recent example- I used Apple Maps for navigation to the airport. What was supposed to be a one hour drive turned out to be almost a half hour longer because Apple directed me to go through downtown where there was heavy traffic due to major road construction and closures that it was not aware of. I turned on Google Maps to compare routes and it was aware of the construction and instructed me to go an alternate route around it, although by then it made little difference because I was already in it.
Features are great but Apple STILL needs to focus on improving reliability to win back at least this user’s confidence. For me reliability is first and foremost. Although I’m sure it varies from area to area, so not everyone has the same experience. I even don’t have the same experience all the time, as sometimes it works fine.
That said, I’m hopeful for the future of Apple Maps, and I’m really looking forward to trying out these new features.
 
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subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,616
3,470
which also highlights current traffic incidents and conditions like road closures so you know what to expect on your route.
I really hope there’s a way to report road closures in this next version, especially hands-free via Siri. I believe crowdsourcing is the best way to stay up to date.

Maps in iOS 15 has Explore, Driving, Transit, and Satellite maps to choose from, and it's the driving map that's the new addition
I’m still not clear on what this new “driving map” is.

Maps in iOS 15 is more detailed in all locations, but in select cities, Apple has upped the detail even further. Roads, neighborhoods, trees, and buildings are shown in full detail,
I wonder how quickly the map updates when someone chops down a tree…

Walking directions in iOS 15 can now be shown in augmented reality, making it easier to get where you need to go, especially in situations where the directions are tricky. The AR mode offers step-by-step directions when walking, and you can enter it by scanning the buildings around you when prompted after initiating a route.
AR directions are going to be a killer application of AR glasses. Can’t wait for the two technologies to combine. Until then, AR directions on a phone might just be killer, because you might get run over walking into an intersection while concentrating on your little screen.

With iOS 15, if you continue to zoom out until you can zoom no further, you reach a new globe view that lets you spin around the world and drill into new areas.
There should be an optional setting between globe and flat earth. 😁

While on public transit, there's an updated user interface that makes it easier for users to see and interact with their routes in a one-handed operation mode, useful when there are no seats available.
Interested to see what this is. Meanwhile, my iPhone SE1 is ALWAYS in one-handed operation mode, even on crowded subways while getting bumped around. 😁
 
Comment

darcyf

macrumors 6502a
Apr 25, 2011
649
970
Toronto, ON
This is great, but fire away with your complaints and negativity everyone!
Sure! Still can’t enter multiple destinations to create a route, and in a city of over 500k people I still have to switch to google maps when searching for a local business nearly half the time. And they need a much better way of providing social proof for businesses — Yelp is dead and google reviews just tell you so much more. This is honestly a really big part of what makes a maps app useful, deciding where to go. Apple are getting killed here.

I much prefer apple maps to google maps for the overall experience, but there’s no denying it falls short in some very basic and yet essential ways.
 
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