September 27, 2021 – Apple has today announced new ways in which iPhone users can explore major cities in 3D. With the recent release of iOS 15, Apple Maps has received its biggest update ever, part of which consists of immersive walking directions shown in augmented reality (AR), as well as new city experiences that offer more details, driving routes with better navigation, and more according to Apple. The update is now available in London, Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area, with more cities to come.
“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, with features and an attention to detail that only Apple can deliver.”
The new immersive walking directions will provide users with step-by-step walking guidance in augmented reality, allowing users to simply raise their iPhones to scan buildings in the area. Maps will then generate a highly accurate position to deliver detailed directions that can be viewed in the context of the real world.
In addition to AR navigation, the update also brings several other new features to the Apple Maps app, including 3D maps that will allow users to navigate cities with a 3D representation of a city that includes elevation details, new road labels, and hundreds of custom-designed landmarks. Other features such as enhanced navigation, transit updates, curated guides and a new interactive globe have also been added.
AR map navigation is nothing new – Google’s own Maps app received AR functionality back in 2019 with the release of Live View. Still, with Apple announcing at the start of this year that there are now over 1 billion active iPhones in use globally, it would be fair to assume that a sizable number of people will make do with their device’s pre-installed Apple Maps application. Therefore, today’s update means AR functionality will now be in front of even more users, who may have not previously realized the benefits the technology can offer.
For more information on the new Apple Maps app, click here.
Image credit: Apple
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.