iOS 15 for iPhone: Apple Maps has finally caught up with Google Maps. The main features to know


With iOS 15, Apple Maps has a new look, but only if you’re in one of the few selected cities.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Remember when Apple Maps first launched as the native iPhone navigation app? After years of Google Maps on iPhone, Apple’s decision to make its own app the default instead of Google Maps was a disaster. But now iOS 15 for iPhone and iPadOS are here (How? ‘Or’ What download iOS 15 now) and Apple Maps has caught up. In some ways, you might think it has even overtaken Google Maps.

It’s a bold statement, I know. But Google has a few tips that it can now take from its big rival. Do not believe me ? Launch iOS 15 and read my list of notable improvements to Apple Maps below.

Read more: 5 Lesser-Known Apple Maps Features to Use on Your iPhone

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Apple Maps gets a 3D facelift in iOS 15


Apple Maps brings confidence with step-by-step directions

Currently, when Apple Maps gives step-by-step directions, you regularly receive more specific instructions such as “turn right at two traffic lights” or other reference to a landmark. Getting more precise directions from your phone gives you more confidence in the route Apple Maps takes.

When you start using Apple Maps in iOS 15 for detailed driving directions, you will see a whole new look that will add even more confidence. For example, you will be able to better identify accidents, traffic jams or roadworks with just a glance at your phone screen while following the route.

In addition to accuracy, there is a new 3D model that the typical 2D map passes to when approaching an interchange, making it easier to see where you’re supposed to go instead of guessing which lane is the real lane. which is second from the right.

It’s also worth noting that Apple says it will be easier to identify bike lanes, buses, turns and taxis, as well as medians and crosswalks in the new Apple maps. If you can visualize where you are supposed to go, as well as the current hearing specifics, driving in new cities will be less stressful.


When you get to a complicated interchange, you’ll see a new 3D model to show you precisely where to go.

Screenshot / Apple

Transit, search improvements and more to come on Apple Maps

There are more features coming to Apple Maps in iOS 15, like an improved transit experience that will send alerts when you approach your stop and allow you to mark your favorite routes so they’re always on top. your screen. Or if you prefer, you can quickly check all nearby departures to see when you need to start your trip.

Apple is also starting to organize its own guides that detail the places and businesses you should visit when in a new city. This is clearly an area where Apple needs to do a little more work to catch up with Google Maps and its business reviews, but it’s a step in the right direction.

You’ll also see improvements in the search in Maps with more filters (e.g. does that place down the street accept credit cards?) And business information.


Apple Maps now has a user settings panel where you can find all of your old reviews, preferences, and more.

Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Apple Maps has a new preferences section

Using Apple Maps before iOS 15 meant you had to constantly change modes of transportation to get directions or find where to find locations you preferred, and it often felt like a chore.

With iOS 15, Apple Maps now has a profile page for you to change your personal travel preferences and find all of your Apple Maps data in one place.

To view your user account in Apple Maps, tap your profile avatar. You’ll see a list of the different options, including reviews you’ve left for a business, your favorite locations, city guides you’ve created, and a Preferences page.


iOS 15 will be released this fall, likely in September, and will come with all of these new Apple Maps features and more.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Apple Maps puts the world in the palm of your hand

This feature may not help you on a daily basis, but it’s still something fun to point out. Once you’ve installed iOS 15, try this: Open Apple Maps and zoom out. Zoom out a bit more, then keep zooming out until you are looking at planet Earth. Apple has added an interactive globe to Apple Maps. This means that you can rotate the globe, but instead of seeing a static image of it, it will change to match the time of day in various parts of the world.

It’s quite fun to watch and use. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m jealous of my kids learning geography like this rather than on a paper map or an old-fashioned plastic globe. Try zooming out like this on Google Maps, and you will find a flat map of the Earth. There is a joke to be made here, but I will leave it alone.

We’ll continue to dig into Apple Maps and the rest of iOS 15, for that matter, and share what we find out. For example, we already have found several new features that everyone will love. But my favorite features are hidden, and of course, I also found some.

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