Maps: What’s New in iOS 13

Apple introduced updates to many of the built-in iOS apps in iOS 13, and Maps is no exception. The updated version of Maps has a long list of new features that are designed to make the Apple Maps app better able to compete with mapping apps from other companies.

There's a new Look Around street view level feature, a Collections feature for aggregating lists of your favorite places, a Favorites option for getting to your most frequently traveled places quickly, and some other smaller updates that are worth knowing about.

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In this guide, we've highlighted all of the new features that are in the Apple Maps app in iOS 13.

Maps Redesign


Apple in iOS 12 debuted a rebuilt, updated Maps app that uses an Apple-designed Maps engine to bring more detailed views of things like foliage, pools, buildings, pedestrian pathways, and more.

The work done in iOS 12 is continuing in iOS 13 as Apple expands the new Maps app to additional states in the U.S. in 2019 and new countries in 2020.


Apple on stage when introducing iOS 13 mentioned these map updates and promised improved detailing for roads, beaches, parks, buildings, and more. Maps in iOS 12 overall looks similar to iOS 13 in states where new Maps have already rolled out, but there could be more detail coming in the future and there are some small changes worth pointing out.

Road Hazards and Traffic Conditions


When viewing the main Maps interface, the app now displays road hazards and traffic conditions so you can see the route ahead at a glance. Previously, this information was available, but only when turn-by-turn directions were activated.


In iOS 13, traffic information is visible on the main map too.

Junction View


iOS 13 adds a Junction View option that's meant to help drivers avoid wrong turns and directional misses by lining them up in the correct lane before a turn or an elevated road.

Siri Directions


Siri gives more natural directions in iOS 13. Instead of saying something like "in 1,000 feet turn left," Siri might instead choose to say "turn left at the next traffic light," which is an easier instruction to follow since there's no distance estimation involved.

Venue Navigation Improvements


When you're navigating to something like a concert at a large venue, Apple Maps now offers up improvements that are better suited towards getting you to your end-point destination.

Real-Time Transit Schedules


The Maps app now includes real-time transit schedules, arrival times, network stops, and system connections for transit directions to provide better overall route planning.


Real-time information like outages, cancellations, and other changes are also listed in the Apple Maps app.


ETA Sharing


There's a new option to share your estimated time of arrival with friends, family, and coworkers. Your ETA will update dynamically, changing even when there's a significant traffic delay.

Flight Status


Maps is now able to display up-to-the-minute information about flight terminals, gate locations, departure times, and more.

Place Cards for Businesses


Place Cards for businesses have been updated to be more helpful and easier to use. You'll see information like times of Today at Apple sessions when looking up an Apple Store, for example, or movie times when looking up a movie theater.


Look Around


Look Around is a new Apple Maps feature that's designed to be Apple's equivalent of Google Street View. Look Around offers up a street-level view of what's around you or a location you search for in the Maps app.


You can use Look Around in the main Apple Maps view whenever there's a pair of binoculars visible. Tapping on the binoculars icon delves into a close-up street level view of the location in a little card, which you can tap again to get to a full screen Look Around view.


Look Around can also be brought up when searching for specific supported locations by tapping on the Look Around card in the search results.


When in Look Around mode, tapping on the display lets you move through the Look Around area, and tapping a spot far off in the distance does a neat zoom in maneuver that's fun to watch.

In Look Around, all notable points of interest, like restaurants, businesses, parks, and more, are highlighted with identifying icons and place names so you can tell what's what.


Look Around is limited to areas where a car can go because it's using data captured from a 360-degree camera on a vehicle. That means you can't zoom into areas like parks or beaches, for example, but you can see what's visible from the street.


Right now, Look Around is limited to parts of California and Nevada, but Apple plans to expand availability over the course of 2019.

Collections


Collections lets you search for and aggregate lists of different locations, such as restaurants you might want to try or places you might want to visit.


Collection lists can be shared, so you can make up lists of places for friends and family visiting you in your city and then share it with them, for example.

Favorites


Favorites is a new Maps feature that lets you search for specific places and then add them to a list. Favorites are meant for places that you visit frequently, and Home and Work are already added by default.


You can add any place you go to often to the Favorites list, such as a favorite restaurant or coffee shop, or a friend's house. Tapping on one of your Favorites brings up directions to that spot right away, so think of it like a speed dial option for Maps.

Maps Feedback Form


Apple introduced a redesigned customer feedback interface in iOS 13, which is designed to make it easier for Apple Maps users to submit corrections for things like incorrect addresses, business locations, or operating hours.

CarPlay


All of the new features introduced in the Maps app in iOS 13, such as Favorites, Collections, and Junction View have been added to CarPlay. The Maps app in CarPlay also provides updated route planning, search, and navigation.

Guide Feedback


Have questions about Maps, know of an iOS 13 Maps feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.


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DuckDuckGo Enhances Apple Maps Integration, Including Dark Mode

DuckDuckGo has been using Apple Maps to power map-related searches on both desktop and mobile since January, and today the privacy-focused search engine announced further improvements to that integration.

First, when switching to DuckDuckGo's dark theme, Apple Maps now also automatically switches to a dark appearance.


DuckDuckGo has also added a dedicated Maps tab at the top of every search results page. Previously, this shortcut was only displayed for map-related searches, but it now appears for any search queries. For example, if you searched for "cupcakes," the Maps tab might display local bakeries that sell them.


Whereas previously each new map-related search required returning to the default DuckDuckGo search page upon completion, a search field has now been added that allows users to refine local searches instantly.

Last is intelligent autocomplete within the expanded map view. Updating or typing new search queries will now dynamically show you search suggestions that are tailored to the local region displayed. For example, as you type "coffee," search suggestions related to coffee will appear within the map area in view.


These enhancements are available now on both desktop and mobile versions of DuckDuckGo.com.

DuckDuckGo does not collect or share any personal information from DuckDuckGo users, a policy that extends to the Apple Maps integration. Identifiable info like IP addresses are not provided to Apple, and for searches where approximate location is gathered by the browser, it is discarded immediately after it's used.


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Apple Maps in iOS 13: Collections, Favorites, Look Around, and More

There are quite a few changes coming to the Maps app in iOS 13, which gives Apple Maps a feature set that more closely mirrors some of the tools and functionality available in more robust mapping apps like Google Maps.

The most interesting and notable change in Maps is the new Look Around feature, which is Apple's answer to Google's Street View function. Look Around lets you get a street level look at what's around you (or what you search for) in the Maps app.


Look Around leverages all of the Maps-related data collection that Apple has been doing, which has ranged from in-car data gathering for many months to data collecting on foot in select cities.


Look Around in the main Apple Maps view can be used wherever a pair of binoculars are shown. Tapping that delves into a close-up street level view of the location in a little card, which you can tap again to use the feature full screen.


Tapping around on the display lets you move through the Look Around area, and tapping on an area far in the distance does a neat zooming maneuver that's fun to watch. Notable points of interest, such as restaurants and businesses, are highlighted with identifying icons.


Look Around is limited to areas where a car can go because it's using data captured from a 360 degree camera on a vehicle. That means you can't zoom into areas like parks or beaches, for example, but Apple could add this function in the future since the company is collecting data on foot too.


As with Google Maps, personal information like license places and faces is blurred out to protect people's privacy.

Right now, Look Around is limited to select areas in the United States such as parts of California and Nevada, but Apple plans to expand availability after iOS 13 is released. It is expected to be available across the United States in 2019, and other countries in 2020.

Maps in iOS 13 has a "Favorites" option, which lets you search for specific locations and add them to a favorites list. Favorites are Home and Work by default, but you can add any location.


Tapping one of your favorite options brings up directions to that spot straight away, making the Favorites list the best place for the places that you travel to on a regular basis. Siri Suggestions is also used here to suggest places that you visit a lot that you might want to add.

There's also a new "Collections" feature where you can aggregate different locations, such as restaurants you want to try or places that you might want to visit.


All of your Collection lists can be shared, so you can make up lists of places for friends and family visiting you in your city and then share it with them, for example.


Apple on stage mentioned a revamped Maps interface in iOS 13, but this appears to have been largely referring to changes that the company already started implementing in iOS 12.

There are, however, some noticeable changes to the main Maps interface even in areas where updated iOS 12 maps have already rolled out, such as a view of road hazards and traffic conditions that are normally only visible when turn-by-turn directions have been inputted. Traffic in iOS 13 is visible on the main map.


Apple's iOS 13 website specifically mentions more realistic details for roads, beaches, parks, buildings, and more, but it's not entirely clear if all of this is new.

Both Collections and Favorites are nice additions to Apple Maps that make it more useful, and Look Around is a fantastic new tool for getting a close look at what's nearby.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

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Apple Maps Vehicles to Begin Surveying Canada This Summer

Apple today announced that its Apple Maps vehicles will begin surveying parts of Canada throughout the summer.


The vehicles will drive across all 10 provinces between May and November, including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. Absent are the territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

The data collected, including the likes of road details, signage, and landmarks, will be used to improve Apple Maps as part of Apple's efforts to rebuild the service, which began in the United States last year.

Apple Maps with more detailed data in Northern California

Apple's full statement:
Beginning in May, Apple Maps will be driving across Canada throughout the summer. We'll be capturing road details, signage and landmarks — all to make the most accurate and useful Maps experience possible. The information collected will be worked on by our teams in Cupertino, California. We plan to publish this data in a future product update.

We always have your privacy in mind, so we're working closely with local regulators to ensure we follow all laws and regulations. All of our vehicles are marked Apple Maps, so you'll always know it's us.

Privacy is a fundamental Apple principle, so we're proud to build it into everything we do.
Apple Maps vehicles have also surveyed parts of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Sweden, Slovenia, Portugal, Croatia, Japan, Andorra, and Puerto Rico since data collection began in 2015.


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Apple Maps Gains Detailed Terrain Features for Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada US States

As part of its ongoing effort to rebuild Apple Maps, Apple has added detailed terrain features to the U.S. states of Arizona and New Mexico as well as the southern portion of Nevada, including the city of Las Vegas.


The enhancements are the result of Apple's street-level data collection using LiDAR-equipped vehicles, which has been going on for over three years. Related improvements first rolled out in Northern California in iOS 12 and have extended to Hawaii and Southern California over the past few months.

The overall look and feel of Apple Maps is mostly the same, but zooming and panning reveals more details like grass, trees, sports fields, and parking lots. Apple says search results also become more relevant.

Apple Maps vehicles have been collecting mapping data in the United States since 2015, with over 45 states at least partially surveyed to date. Apple will begin surveying Alaska, South Carolina, and Tennessee between March and July, according to an update to its recently revamped Apple Maps image collection website.

Back in June 2018, Apple said the revamped mapping data would roll out section by section across the rest of the United States over the following year. Since then, a pattern has emerged that appears to show Apple prefers rolling out the updated maps in adjacent continental U.S. states, rather than prioritizing more population-rich regions of the nation like the Northeast.

Our source notes that Apple is also working on an updated appearance for northeastern cities like New York, given that special detailed terrain features can be seen – perhaps unintentionally – when entering turn-by-turn navigation.


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Apple Maps Vehicles to Begin Surveying Final U.S. States

As part of its efforts to rebuild Apple Maps, Apple has been collecting street-level data with LiDAR-equipped vehicles for over three years, with at least 45 states across the U.S. partially surveyed to date.


That total is set to rise in the coming months, as Apple has confirmed it will begin surveying Alaska, South Carolina, and Tennessee between March and July, according to an update to its recently revamped Apple Maps image collection website. Data collection is also set to continue in seven other states over that time.
Apple is conducting ground surveys around the world to collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps. Some of this data will be published in future Apple Maps updates. We will also periodically revisit some locations to gather new data in an effort to maintain a high-quality, up-to-date map. We are committed to protecting your privacy while conducting these surveys. For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication.
To our best knowledge, the only states that Apple has yet to confirm surveying are Arkansas and Oklahoma, although Twitter users have spotted the vehicles in both states since last year and perhaps earlier. It's possible the vehicles were only passing through those states without collecting mapping data.


Whether the total is 48 or 50 states, Apple's surveying efforts have reached nearly every corner of the United States. Apple plans to roll out its improved Maps app across the country section by section over the next year.

The improvements first rolled out in Northern California in iOS 12 and have extended to Hawaii and Southern California over the past few months. The overall look and feel of Apple Maps is mostly the same, but zooming and panning reveals more details like grass, trees, sports fields, and parking lots.

Apple Maps vehicles have also surveyed parts of Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, and they are headed to Andorra in April, according to Apple's website. It's unclear when the Apple Maps improvements will be available internationally.


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New Report Delves Into Poor Working Conditions at an Apple Maps ‘Black Site’

A new report out today by Bloomberg offers a look inside one of Apple's so-called "black sites," this one a satellite office near Apple Park in California where the company hires contractors to work on Apple Maps. These contract workers were hired by Apex Systems, which staffs and manages a few Apple mapping offices, and creates a "culture of fear" according to former employees.

One former worker at the black site near Apple Park, on Hammerwood Avenue in Sunnyvale, said that "it was made pretty plain to us that we were at-will employees and they would fire us at any time." Most workers at the office signed up for 12-15 month work contracts, but many didn't make it that long.

Image via David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

To hire workers, sources referred to "aggressive" messaging received via LinkedIn. Apex Systems browses the social network to find people with proficiency in mapping-related skills, and then "messages them repeatedly." Former workers then say Apex uses the revelation that the job will be for Apple as a way to tip potential employees over the edge and easily hire them.

Former workers described a poor work environment with understocked vending machines, long lines for men's bathrooms due to a predominantly male workforce, and restrictions on using the bathrooms designated for full-time Apple employees. To protect Apple's secrets, management instructed employees to enter the building through the back door every day, and to walk several blocks away from the building before calling for a ride home at the end of the day.
The working environment was uncomfortable in other ways, according to current and former contractors. Apex managers sometimes broke up unauthorized water-cooler socializing. Several workers say their managers would get notifications if their workstations were idle for too long. “Being monitored like that is super dehumanizing and terrifying,” says one former Apex mapping technician.
Many workers who took the contract jobs did so because Apex played up the possibility of landing full-time work with Apple down the line, but chances for this turned out to be small. At the same time, many other workers agreed to the contract work to have Apple on their resume, but even that wasn't a possibility.

At first, they could put "Apple, via Apex Systems" as their employer on sites like LinkedIn, but then in the summer of 2018 Apex instructed all workers to remove the word "Apple" and to describe their employer as "A Major Tech Company Via Apex Systems."

These differences between contract workers and full-time employees have led to what some sources called a caste system within Apple.
The restrictions were just one of many reminders of the contractors’ inferior status, right down to the apple design on their ID badges. For direct employees, the apples were multi-colored; contractors got what one described as “sad grey.” It’s common for companies to distribute different badges to contractors, a practice that discontented workers across the industry have seized on as evidence of a caste system.

Amber Lutsko, who worked for Apple through Apex in 2017 and 2018, described an opening-day pep talk that aimed to make her feel both honored and excluded. “‘You work at Apple now! You have made it!’” she recalls being told. “‘You’re not allowed to use the gym.’”
The Hammerwood office is managed by Apex, not Apple, and in a surprise audit on the staffing company, Apple said it found a work environment consistent with other Apple locations. According to an Apple spokesperson, "Like we do with other suppliers, we will work with Apex to review their management systems, including recruiting and termination protocols, to ensure the terms and conditions of employment are transparent and clearly communicated to workers in advance."

In November 2018, Apex changed the maximum amount of paid annual sick time from 48 to 24 hours, leading to a protest as over a dozen contractors said they had suddenly fallen ill and left work. Around the same time, Apex suddenly fired about two dozen people. Eventually, many remaining employees left Apex permanently and moved onto contract work at other companies that had better benefits for these workers, including Facebook and Google.

One former Apple contractor who worked under Apex, Amber Lutsko, was one of the workers who quit before her contract was up because of the company's questionable practices. Even now, a few months after she stopped working for Apex, the company's recruiters still find her through LinkedIn and send her messages about potential employment with a can't-be-named silicon valley company.

Other former contractors report the same, even ones who were fired by Apex: "You got rid of me because of my quote-unquote performance, and every three months I get these emails," says one of them. "It's insulting, honestly."

Head to Bloomberg to read the full report: What It's Like To Work Inside Apple's 'Black Site'


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Apple Maps Launches Revamped Data Collection Website

As part of its efforts to rebuild Apple Maps "from the ground up," Apple has been collecting street-level data with LiDAR-equipped vehicles for over three years. Apple also deployed employees wearing LiDAR-equipped backpacks to collect pedestrian-based data starting in California late last year.


As these efforts expand around the world, Apple recently transitioned to a revamped Apple Maps image collection website with a list of locations it will be surveying both in vehicles and on foot in the upcoming months.

The page reveals a few new pieces of information, including that pedestrian-based data collection has expanded to Hawaii and Nevada through February. Vehicle-based data collection will also be expanding to the tiny European country of Andorra, landlocked between France and Spain, in April 2019.

The new page, which replaces the previous Apple Maps vehicles list, also indicates that Apple will "periodically revisit some locations to gather new data in an effort to maintain a high-quality, up-to-date map."

Apple Maps vehicles have been collecting mapping data in the United States since 2015, with over 45 states at least partially surveyed to date. The vehicles have also surveyed parts of Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, according to Apple.

Back in June 2018, Apple said the revamped mapping data would roll out section by section across the rest of the United States over the following year. The improvements first rolled out in Northern California in iOS 12 and have extended to Hawaii and Southern California over the past few months.


The overall look and feel of Apple Maps is mostly the same, but zooming and panning reveals more details like grass, trees, sports fields, and parking lots. Apple also said search results would become more relevant.


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Apple Expands Transit Directions to New Areas, Introduces More Indoor Maps for Malls and Airports

Transit directions for Apple Maps have recently expanded to encompass the entirety of multiple states and countries, Apple today confirmed in an update to its Feature Availability page.

Transit directions are now available across all of Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Dakota, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Texas.


In many of these locations, transit information has been available for a few weeks, but Apple is often slow to confirm with updates to its Feature Availability page. Several of the above-listed locations also had transit directions in a few major cities, but transit information is now available statewide.

Transit directions have also expanded to encompass all of Australia, and as was discovered in January, transit information is available in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

Apple has introduced indoor maps three new airports, including Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Newcastle International Airport (NCL), and Milano Linate Airport (LIN).

Indoor maps have also expanded to quite a few malls in the cities listed below:

  • Bellingham, WA

  • Bloomington, IN

  • Boulder, CO

  • Brookvale, Australia

  • Burwood, Australia

  • Carindale, Australia

  • Cheltenham, Australia

  • Chermside, Australia

  • Castel Guelfo di Bologna, Italy

  • Chiyoda, Japan

  • Denver, CO

  • Eastgardens, Australia

  • Edinburgh, IN

  • Evansville, IN

  • Greenwood, IN

  • Hoover, AL

  • Hornsby, Australia

  • Hurstville, Australia

  • Jonesboro, AR

  • Lakewood, CO

  • Littleton, CO

  • Liverpool, Australia

  • Lone Tree, CO

  • Lynnwood, WA

  • Manchester, NH

  • Merrimack, Australia

  • Miranda, Australia

  • Minato-Ku, Japan

  • Moline, IL

  • North Little Rock, AR

  • Parramatta, Australia

  • Penrith, Australia

  • Rogers, AR

  • Salem, NH

  • Seattle, WA

  • Shibuya, Japan

  • Spokane Valley, WA

  • Spokane, WA

  • Suita-Shi, Japan

  • Sydney, Australia

  • Toshima, Japan

  • Upper Mount Gravatt, Australia

  • Vancouver, WA

  • Vicolungo, Italy
Indoor maps for malls and airports were introduced in iOS 11, providing full layouts of each mall or airport location with icons for restaurants, elevators, bathrooms, shops, and other notable landmarks. Different floors are clearly marked, making it easy to navigate through unknown areas.

A full list of all of the airports and mall locations where the Apple Maps indoor mapping feature is available can be found on Apple's Feature Availability website, which also houses a list of all of the locations where transit directions are available.


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Apple Maps Gains Transit Directions for Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland

Apple Maps today gained comprehensive transit directions for Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, in the largest single combined update to its European coverage thus far.


The coverage includes train, tram, and bus routes in the capital cities of each country, including Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Helsinki, as well as funicular connections where available and transit links across borders.

Apple has yet to update its official list of locations for which Maps offers Transit data, but the information is already live across Europe.

Google Maps has supported transit directions for several years now, but Apple Maps has been steadily catching up with detailed routing information in recent years.

Transit coverage began in 2015 with an initial rollout in Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and China. Since then, Apple has expanded the feature to many other regions around the world.

(Thanks, Bernd and Noah!)


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