Apple Quietly Preparing Big News for Its Google Maps Rival

Apple continues the rollout of the new Apple Maps experience, and recently discovered evidence suggests that a big announcement is just around the corner.
An Apple Maps expansion is being planned 7 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Apple
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The Cupertino-based iPhone maker may be gearing up for a massive expansion of the updated Apple Maps, as the debut in several countries is likely a matter of time now.

Apple announced the new Apple Maps back in 2018. It includes Apple’s very own mapping data, and more details, such as crosswalks, 3D buildings, stop signs during navigation, traffic lights, walking paths, vegetation between roads, and so on.

In terms of navigation, the new Apple Maps sports 3D support on both iPhones and CarPlay. Using in-house generated 3D models of buildings and landmarks, Apple Maps makes the navigation experience more straightforward by accurately reproducing the road on the screen.

Since the 2018 announcement, the rollout of the new Apple Maps has been making slow progress. Apple indeed brought it to several other countries besides the United States, including Spain, Portugal, Canada, and the United Kingdom, but the majority of regions, especially in Europe, still use the old version.

It looks like this could change sooner rather than later. Apple has started testing new Apple Maps data in Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary. This seems to be the biggest Apple Maps expansion to date, though for now, it’s still not known when the rollout could start.

The level of detail available in these countries is the same as in the United States. Users can explore these regions with 3D buildings and even names of farms in rural areas.

For the time being, the new Apple Maps experience is only available for testing. This means it hasn’t yet reached broad availability and only select users can access it. Most people are still connected to the old version of Apple Maps, but I’m guessing the public rollout of the overhaul isn’t very far.

Apple seems to accelerate the rollout of the revamped Apple Maps. The company has been lagging in terms of functionality versus Google Maps, so by bringing the new maps to more users, it makes its software a more advanced alternative in the mapping market.

In the meantime, the iPhone maker also has several other Apple Maps shortcomings to deal with. The expansion of the new maps is definitely good news for everybody, but the application still lacks essential capabilities. Offline maps aren’t available in Apple Maps, whereas Google Maps offers such capabilities in most regions across the world.

At the same time, satellite map navigation isn’t supported. Apple Maps does come with satellite maps, but for some reason, when route guidance is enabled, Apple Maps returns to the standard layer. Support for offline maps and satellite mode navigation are currently two of the most requested features in Apple Maps.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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