Apple has now rolled out the new Apple Maps features to six new countries: Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia. The new experience first launched in parts of the US back in 2018, and coverage has been expanded almost 20 times since then.
The new features include Look Around, lane guidance, Share ETA, and Natural Language Guidance …
Apple has been gradually rolling out the new Apple Maps experience around the world, which the company says involved building the new maps from the ground up.
Beginning today, users in Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia can experience the new Apple Maps. With faster and more accurate navigation; comprehensive views of roads, buildings, parks, airports, and shopping centers; and three-dimensional landmarks like Wiener Riesenrad in Austria, Pula Arena in Croatia, and Buda Castle in Hungary, it is now easier and more enjoyable to map out any journey.
“Apple Maps is the best way to explore and navigate the world, all while protecting your privacy. We are excited to bring this experience to even more users with the new features we’re rolling out today,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services. “Maps has been rebuilt from the ground up, with better navigation, richer detail, more accurate information for places, and remarkable features that only Apple can deliver, like Look Around, Natural Language Guidance, and more. Now it is easier than ever for users to find the places they love and get to where they’re going.”
We knew these countries were coming, thanks to cartographer and Apple Maps expert Justin O’Beirne last month spotting them in testing.
New Apple Maps navigation features
The key road navigation features of the latest-generation Apple Maps are:
- Natural Language Guidance
- Lane guidance
- Speed and red-light camera locations
- Multi-stop routing
- Share ETA with family and friends
- Hazard reporting
- Electric vehicle charging points
For example, Natural Language Guidance means that the voice prompts are more like those a person would provide, like “Turn right at the next traffic light.” Share ETA will automatically share your estimated time of arrival with selected contacts, and will update them if your journey is subjected to significant unexpected delays.
For public transit journeys:
- Find nearby stations
- Pin favorite lines
- Notifications when it’s time to get off
The latter is a popular feature of third-party apps like Citymapper.
Look Around, Flyover, Indoor maps
Look Around provides 3D photo-based street-level imagery, to enable you to easily orientate yourself. This feature is not yet available in Austria, but Apple says it is coming soon.
Flyover offers 3D views of major landmarks, with the ability to zoom, pan, tilt, and rotate.
Indoor maps mean you can use the app inside airports and shopping centers to find stores, restaurants, and restrooms. You can even see whether a particular store or restaurant is open.
Apple emphasizes existing privacy features
The company has also highlighted the existing privacy features of Apple Maps.
With Maps, no sign-in is required. Personalized features, such as suggesting departure time to make the next appointment, are created using on-device intelligence.
Any data collected by Maps while using the app, including search terms, navigation routing, and traffic information, is associated with random identifiers that regularly reset to prevent connecting search and location data stored on the server to an identifiable user.
Maps goes even further to obscure a user’s location on Apple servers when searching for a location through a process called “fuzzing.” Maps converts the precise location where the search originated to a less-exact one within 24 hours.
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