While most of world is still using Google Maps, Apple has quietly been upgrading its own Maps app with a series of exciting new features.
In this article, we’ll explore all the newest features of Apple Maps, showing you exactly how to use them. We think you might agree Apple Maps is finally ready to give Google Maps a run for its money.
The Guides feature in Apple Maps makes it easy to find all the best things to see and do when you visit a new destination. You can create your own Guide, share Guides with friends, or even check out Guides made by some of the world’s best travel advisors.
In the Apple Maps app, you can enjoy guides from:
- Los Angeles Times
- Lonely Planet
- Louis Vuitton
- Time Out
- The Washington Post
- and more
Unfortunately, Guides are only available for select cities at the moment, including San Francisco, New York, London, and Los Angeles.
Apple plans to add many more city guides in the future.
To find new Guides in Apple Maps on iOS 14:
- Open the Maps app when you’re in a supported city.
- Tap the Search bar and scroll down to the Editors’ Picks section.
- Tap See All to view all the Guides for that location or scroll down further to browse guides by publisher.
- When you find a Guide you like, tap it to see all the destinations inside it. Each destination features a write-up and a photo.
- Tap the Save Guide button to save the Guide to your Maps app. Saved Guides automatically update when the publisher adds new destinations to them. Alternatively, tap the Add button next to each destination to add that destination to a custom Guide.
To view Guides you already saved in Apple Maps:
- Open the Maps app.
- Drag the search bar up to reveal Favorites and My Guides.
- Tap See All next to My Guides.
- Tap a Guide to view all the destinations saved in it.
2. Cycling Routes
Cyclists can’t rely on the same routes Apple Maps gives for cars. These routes could lead you onto a dangerous motorway or could avoid nifty shortcuts available to bikes.
With Apple Maps in iOS 14, you can now get dedicated cycling directions to avoid these problems.
Cycling directions take advantage of bike lanes and paths to find the best route possible for cyclists. They even alert you of any stairs or steep hills on your route, giving the option to avoid them if you need to.
And before setting off, Apple Maps gives you a quick overview of the elevation for the route. So you know if you’ve got an uphill struggle in store or not.
To get cycling directions in Apple Maps:
- Open the Maps app.
- Tap the Search bar and find your destination.
- Tap Directions, then select the Bicycle icon to load directions.
- Choose between the available routes, which tell you the route length and time, including whether it includes unpaved roads, hills, stairs, side roads, and bike paths.
- You can also scroll down and choose to Avoid Hills or Avoid Busy Roads by enabling the relevant toggle.
If you wear an Apple Watch, keep track of your route while you’re cycling with a glance at your wrist.
Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t rolled out cycling directions everywhere yet. But we should see them coming to more and more locations soon.
3. Electric Vehicle Routes
Planning a long journey is particularly difficult for electric vehicle (EV) owners, who may need to stop and charge part way. For this reason, Apple is introducing EV routes to Apple Maps, which automatically schedule charging stops based on your vehicle’s battery level and range.
When Apple releases this feature, you’ll be able to get directions in the Maps app like you would for any other vehicle. Just connect your EV to your iPhone using the manufacturer’s app to schedule stops at charging stations wherever your car might need them.
Apple Maps can track your vehicle’s current charge, factoring in route elevation and speed to determine the best charging stops.
After planning stops at compatible charging stations, Apple Maps adds the predicted charging time to your ETA so you still know what time you’ll reach your destination.
4. Traffic Lights and Speed Cameras
For years, Apple users have been crying out for traffic lights and speed cameras to appear in Apple Maps. With Apple Maps in iOS 14, Apple granted that wish.
As you follow driving directions in Apple Maps on iOS 14, traffic light icons appear at junctions and speed cameras or red light cameras also appear in known locations.
Unfortunately, Apple Maps still doesn’t include speed traps or user-submitted cameras, but it’s a start.
You don’t need to do anything to turn this feature on, the icons appear in Maps as soon as you update to the latest version of iOS. However, they only appear when following directions, not when browsing the map normally.
5. Ratings and Photos
Apple pairs with Yelp to offer photos, information, ratings, and reviews for destinations in Apple Maps. But that looks set to change as the latest iOS 14 beta introduces a Ratings and Photos section in the Apple Maps app.
These ratings and photos link to your Apple ID account and allow Apple Maps users to contribute to Apple Maps listings across the globe.
Tap a destination in Maps to view information about it, then scroll down to add a photo or give it a rating. The ratings let you choose between a thumbs up or a thumbs down based on three different options:
- Recommend this place
Over time, user-submitted ratings could allow Apple to move away from its partnership with Yelp.
We’re excited to see this feature move from the iOS beta to public release.
6. More Detailed Maps
For quite some time, Apple has been rolling out detailed upgrades to Apple Maps. These new designs include accurate depictions of roads, buildings, parks, airports, malls, and more.
Viewing comparisons of old and new Apple Maps designs reveals impressive details that appear in the new maps, which Apple was able to achieve through high-resolution satellite imagery, street view cars, and employees canvassing the streets with RADAR packs on their back.
Added Maps details also include Look Around, Flyover, and Transit information becoming available in more cities across the globe.
At the time of writing, Apple has rolled out its redesigned map for the entire United States and is working on a European rollout.
Although this isn’t an iOS 14 update, many users will only notice these changes after updating their iPhone to the latest software.
Enjoy All the Best Apple Maps Features
Apple introduced a lot of exciting new features to Apple Maps with iOS 14, but these aren’t the only features to get worked up about. Previous iOS releases saw the introduction of Favorite destinations, shared ETA, and Look Around.
If you don’t know how to use everything Apple Maps has to offer, take a look at our rundown of the best features in Apple Maps to start learning.
Dan is a freelance writer based in South West England.
He spent two years supervising repairs as a Genius Admin for Apple Retail and uses that knowledge to keep our troubleshooting guides up to date.
Long before that, Dan turned to Apple products from a musical background. Having owned iPods for years, he bought a MacBook to learn sound recording and production. It was using those skills that he gained a first-class Bachelor of Science in Sound Technology.