What’s New in Maps in iOS 11: Indoor Mapping, Lane Guidance and Speed Limits

The Maps app in iOS 11 is outfitted with several new features that significantly improve the app's functionality. Indoor maps let you find restaurants, bathrooms, and other locations in airports and malls, while other new features like speed limits and lane guidance improve turn-by-turn directions.

Fun fact: In iOS 11, Apple has also updated the Maps icon. The new version is meant to show off a corner of Apple Park, Apple's new campus with its now-famous enormous ring-shaped main building.

Indoor Mapping


For the first time, Apple is introducing detailed indoor maps in iOS 11, finally making use of all those mapping companies that it's purchased over the course of the last few years.


iOS 11 includes indoor maps of select malls and airports around the world, displaying full layouts of each location with icons for restaurants, elevators, bathrooms, shops, and other notable indoor landmarks. In airports, you'll see a clear view of the different terminals and gates so you can find your way to your flight.


Right now, indoor mapping is limited to a handful of malls and airports, but Apple says support will be dramatically expanded over time.

Lane Guidance


If you've ever missed a turn because the Maps app didn't let you know what lane to be in, you're going to be happy with the changes made in iOS 11. With a new lane guidance feature, Maps will always let you know what lane you should be in so you'll never miss a sudden turn or an exit.


Lane guidance displays the number of lanes on the road and highlights the lane you're supposed to be in. It is currently available in the United States and China.

Speed Limits


Speed limits, initially launching in the United States and United Kingdom, is a small but highly useful change, and it's one of those features that makes you wonder why it wasn't in the Maps app all along. Speed limits displays the speed limit of the road you're on right on your iPhone's display when you're using turn-by-turn directions.


Light Guidance


For routes that you travel often, there's an option to enable "Light Guidance." Light Guidance, previously available to CarPlay users, cuts down on the directions you receive, since you likely know the route, and instead displays an overview of the trip and alternative routes.

Augmented Reality Flyover


When using the Flyover feature in iOS 11, you can explore cities by tilting and moving your device, mimicking the feel of actually being in the citing you're looking at. You can rotate the iPhone or iPad 360 degrees in the new Flyover mode for a much more immersive experience, and it will even move forward as you walk forward in real life.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
Tag: Apple Maps

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Apple Maps Transit Directions Now Available in Edmonton, Alberta

Apple Maps has been updated with comprehensive transit data in Edmonton, Alberta, enabling iPhone users in Canada's fifth most populous city to navigate with public transportation, including buses and trains.


Apple Maps can provide routes for both Edmonton Transit System (ETS) buses and Edmonton Light Rail Transit (LRT) trains throughout the Edmonton area, including to and from the Edmonton International Airport.

Apple Maps gained a Transit tab in iOS 9. The feature lags several years behind Google Maps, but Apple's public transportation support is exhaustive, mapping all station entrances and listing departure times. Apple Maps also provides detailed advisories about service interruptions and other changes.

At launch, the feature was limited to Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and over 300 cities in China. Since then, Apple has been working to expand support for public transportation to other cities around the world.

For a regularly updated list of cities with Apple Maps transit, visit the iOS Feature Availability page on Apple's website.

(Thanks, Josh!)


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Apple Maps Transit Directions Now Available in Hungary

Apple Maps has been updated with transit data in Hungary, enabling iPhone users to navigate with public transportation directions in Budapest, Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Győr, Pécs, and other regions of the country.


In the Budapest metropolitan area, supported vehicles include the Budapest Metro, BKV buses and trams, and BHÉV trains.

MÁV-START trains are also supported throughout Hungary for long-distance routes, such as between Budapest and Debrecen.


Apple Maps gained a Transit tab in iOS 9. The feature lags several years behind Google Maps, but Apple's public transportation support is exhaustive, mapping all station entrances and listing departure times. Apple Maps also provides detailed advisories about service interruptions and other changes.

At launch, the feature was limited to Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and over 300 cities in China. Since then, Apple has been working to expand support for public transportation to other cities around the world.

For a regularly updated list of cities with Apple Maps transit, visit the iOS Feature Availability page on Apple's website.


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Apple Maps Transit Directions Expand to Brisbane, Perth, and Surrounding Areas in Australia

Apple Maps has been updated with transit data in Queensland and Western Australia, enabling iPhone users to navigate with public transportation directions in large cities such as Brisbane and Perth, and surrounding areas.


In Brisbane, supported vehicles include TransLink buses and Queensland Rail trains, with routes extending to, from, and within the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast suburbs. Apple Maps also supports G:link trams in the Gold Coast.

Travel north to smaller cities like Rockhampton and Townsville and Apple Maps provides routes for Sunbus buses. Of note, long-distance train routes along the Queensland coast don't appear to be available at this time.

Many other regions of Queensland are now supported, so check the Transit tab in Apple Maps if you live somewhere else in the state.

In Western Australia, the biggest addition is Perth. Transperth buses and trains routes extend to suburbs like Mandurah and Rockingham. Long-distance Transwa train routes are also supported between several Western Australia destinations.


Apple Maps transit directions were already available in Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney prior to today's expansion.

Apple Maps gained a Transit tab in iOS 9. The feature lags several years behind Google Maps, but Apple's public transportation support is exhaustive, mapping all station entrances and listing departure times.

At launch, the feature was limited to Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and over 300 cities in China. Since then, Apple has been working to expand support for public transportation to other cities around the world.

Newer additions include Atlanta, Calgary, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Madrid, Manchester, Miami, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Montréal, New Orleans, Paris, Portland, Pittsburgh, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, and Singapore.

For a regularly updated list of cities with Apple Maps transit, visit the iOS Feature Availability page on Apple's website.


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Apple Maps Transit Directions Now Available in Las Vegas and Western Nevada

Apple Maps has been updated with comprehensive transit data in several higher populated areas of Nevada, enabling iPhone users to navigate with public transportation directions throughout the Silver State.


Newly supported areas include Las Vegas, including the nearby cities of North Las Vegas and Henderson, as well as the state capital Carson City and the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area in Western Nevada.

In Las Vegas, Apple Maps can provide directions for the Las Vegas Monorail and RTC Transit buses, including The Deuce and The SDX operating in and between the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas.

Many popular destinations are supported in Las Vegas, including McCarran International Airport and the Las Vegas Convention Center.

RTC Transit bus routes extend to North Las Vegas and Henderson, while RTC Washoe bus directions are available in and between Carson City, Reno, and Sparks. Jump Around Carson (JAC) bus routes are also supported within Carson City.

Apple Maps can also provide directions for Silverado Mainline buses, which travel between each of the cities, such as Reno to Las Vegas.


Apple Maps gained a Transit tab in iOS 9. The feature lags several years behind Google Maps, but Apple's public transportation support is exhaustive, mapping all station entrances and listing departure times.

At launch, the feature was limited to Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and over 300 cities in China. Since then, Apple has been working to expand support for public transportation to other cities around the world.

Newer additions include Atlanta, Calgary, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Madrid, Manchester, Melbourne, Miami, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Montréal, New Orleans, Paris, Portland, Pittsburgh, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, and Singapore.

For a complete list of cities with Apple Maps transit, visit the iOS Feature Availability page on Apple's website.

(Thanks, Bill!)


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Apple Begins Surveying Spain With Mapping Vehicles

Since 2015, Apple has been using LIDAR-equipped mapping vehicles to capture street-level imagery for the Apple Maps app. Apple has expanded the areas where it is collecting data several times over the course of the last two years, and according to the latest update to the company's support page, Apple Maps vehicles have recently made their way into Spain.

Apple regularly highlights the countries and cities around the world where its vehicles are located, and between July 3 and August 13, Apple will collect data in the Biscay province of Spain, in Arratia-Nerbioi, Busturialdea, Durangaldea, Enkarterri, Greater Bilbao, Lea Artibai, and Uribe-Kosta.


Apple is also collecting data in new areas in England, France, Italy, and multiple U.S. states during the months of July and August, but Apple Maps vehicles have been seen in these countries in the past. Data collection in Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire in the United States may be new, however.

According to Apple's support page, the information collected by the mapping vehicles will be used to improve Apple Maps, but just what Apple plans to do with the data remains unclear.

Because Apple promises to blur faces and license plates ahead of publication, there's been speculation that the company is working on a "Street View" addition to Apple Maps to mirror Google Maps, but it's also possible that the imagery is being used to bolster the autonomous driving software that's in development at Cupertino headquarters, as was recently proposed by analyst Neil Cybart.

Over the course of the last two years, Apple's mapping vehicles have surveyed more than 30 U.S. states and several countries including England, Ireland, Italy, France, and Sweden.


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Apple Maps Transit Directions Now Available in Calgary

Apple Maps has been updated with comprehensive transit data in Calgary, Alberta, enabling iPhone users in the Canadian city to navigate with public transportation, including the CTrain light rail system and buses.


Apple Maps enabled transit routing in Calgary just in time for the 2017 Calgary Stampede, which runs between July 7 and July 16.

Apple Maps gained a Transit tab in iOS 9. The feature lags several years behind Google Maps, but Apple's public transportation support is exhaustive, mapping all station entrances and listing departure times.


At launch, the feature was limited to Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and over 300 cities in China. Since then, Apple has been working to expand support for public transportation to other cities around the world.

Newer additions include Atlanta, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Madrid, Manchester, Melbourne, Miami, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Montréal, New Orleans, Paris, Portland, Pittsburgh, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, and Singapore.

For a complete list of cities with Apple Maps transit directions, visit the iOS Feature Availability page on Apple's website.

(Thanks, Bernd!)


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Apple Maps Transit Directions Start Rolling Out in Madrid

Apple recently updated its Maps app to add transit directions and data for Madrid, Spain, one of the cities where hints of transit support first surfaced months ago.

When searching for directions in Madrid, transit options that include the Empresa Municipal de Transportes de Madrid bus line, the Cercanías Madrid, and the Madrid Metro are now available. Madrid does not, however, have full transit routes visible in the Maps app as of yet, so transit support is still rolling out.


Transit directions were first added to Apple Maps in 2015 as part of iOS 9. At launch, transit information was only available in a handful of cities, but Apple has been working hard to expand the feature to additional locations. Transit information is now live in dozens of cities and countries around the world, with a full list available on Apple's iOS 10 Feature Availability website.

Other cities that could soon gain transit support based on transit station outlines Apple has added include Perth, Australia; Las Vegas, Nevada; Phoenix, Arizona; Rome, Italy; Taiwan; and several German states, including Hamburg, Bremen, Niedersachsen, and Schleswig-Holstein.

Other recent transit rollouts include The Netherlands, Paris, Singapore, and Adelaide, Australia.

(Thanks, Álvaro!)


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Apple’s Indoor Maps for Airports and Shopping Malls in iOS 11 Slowly Rolling Out

Apple has slowly begun enabling indoor maps for select airports and shopping malls, providing an early look at the new Apple Maps feature coming in iOS 11.


On devices running iOS 11 beta, indoor maps are available now in Apple Maps for Philadelphia International Airport and Mineta San Jose International Airport, and for shopping malls Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose, California and Westfield San Francisco Centre in San Francisco, California.

Indoor maps will provide detailed floor plans of major airports and shopping malls around the world, allowing iOS 11 users to plan ahead.

At airports, for example, Apple Maps users can tap "look inside" or simply zoom in to view terminals, boarding gates, security checkpoints, airline check-in desks, baggage claim carousels, information kiosks, restrooms, stores, restaurants, parking garages, and even escalators, elevators, and stairs.

Apple Maps users can browse by floor, or search for shops, food, drinks, or restrooms in a specific terminal. Tapping on a restaurant, for example, brings up a detailed place card with photos, hours, and additional information.


Likewise, at shopping malls, Apple Maps users can zoom in to view the exact location of stores, restaurants, restrooms, escalators, elevators, and stairs on each floor. Users can also filter stores by categories such as clothes, shoes, accessories, beauty, food, and drinks, with detailed place cards for each.

Apple senior executive Craig Federighi previewed Apple Maps indoor maps at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month. Skip to around the 1:07:50 mark of Apple's WWDC 2017 keynote video.


At launch, indoor maps will be limited to select airports and shopping malls, in cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tokyo, Toronto, and the Washington D.C. area. Apple said more locations will be added over time.

The feature is only available in iOS 11, which is currently in beta testing. The second developer beta was released on Wednesday, and a public beta will be released later this month. The software update officially launches in the fall.


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Apple Paying Freelancers to Improve the Accuracy of Apple Maps

In an effort to improve Apple Maps, which many iPhone users still consider to be inferior to Google Maps, Apple has enlisted the help of contracted freelancers to validate the accuracy of points of interest and other information, in exchange for micropayments, according to French blog iGeneration.


For the past year, through a platform called TryRating, Apple has reportedly paid freelancers 54 cents per task on average, with each task often only taking a few minutes to complete. The fine print allegedly limits freelancers to 600 completed tasks, and no more than 20 hours worked, per week.

The report doesn't specify how freelancers are selected, but they appear to be recruited through a third-party subcontractor.

A typical task, for example, could be verifying the accuracy and relevance of the search results that Apple Maps shows for a "McDonald's" query for a particular location. The freelancer's task would be to ensure the McDonald's restaurants listed are within a close distance, have accurate addresses, and so forth.

Apple's so-called TryRating platform with a typical verification task

Apple supposedly has a 200-page Maps Search Evaluation Guidelines document that freelancers are required to follow.

One of the examples Apple provides is a search from Somerville, Massachusetts for "Machu Picchu," a well-known historical site in Peru, but also the name of a local restaurant in the city. A freelancer's task would be to ensure all of the search results for "Machu Picchu" are contextually relevant.

iGeneration's in-depth report provides further details about Apple's so-called TryRating platform, which it likens to Amazon's Mechanical Turk.

Apple Maps launched in 2012 and was quickly criticized for having incomplete and inaccurate mapping data, which led some iPhone users on dangerous routes. Apple CEO Tim Cook offered a rare public apology for the frustration it caused customers, and then iOS chief Scott Forstall was ousted just one month later.

Apple Maps still gets a bad rap among some users, but Apple's continued efforts to improve the app should help reverse some of those opinions.


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