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The Latest Apple Maps Update Hides a Little Surprise for Some Users

Everybody knows Apple’s long-term goal for Apple Maps is to make it a more powerful alternative to Google Maps, but on the other hand, it’s not a secret that the whole thing is happening much slower than users across the world expected it to happen.
Cycling directions in Apple Maps 7 photos
Cycling directions in Apple MapsCycling directions in Apple MapsCycling directions in Apple MapsCycling directions in Apple MapsCycling directions in Apple MapsCycling directions in Apple Maps
In other words, yes, Apple Maps is evolving, yet the pace that Apple has embraced for rolling out new capabilities and then expanding it to international markets is painful, to say the least.

Just look at cycling directions, for example. This feature was officially announced in the fall of 2020 when Apple released the much-anticipated iOS 14 update for iPhones out there. But since then, the feature has barely expanded across the world, with only London, New York City, Portland, Oregon, and China getting cycling directions in Apple Maps.

But most recently, it looks like Apple has silently expanded this little feature to more users, as cyclists in some specific areas of California and those in Seattle can now turn to Apple Maps for directions.

The feature works as straightforward as possible. You launch Apple Maps, define a specific destination for navigation, and then tap the bicycle icon to switch to this mode. The app should then provide the typical cycling directions, all with a series of extra details, such as elevation changes and traffic conditions.

The release of this feature comes only a few days after Apple Maps received another major update as part of iOS 14.5.

This new iPhone operating system update includes incident reporting for Apple Maps, essentially turning the app into a rival to Google-owned Waze. Apple Maps users can therefore report things like hazards, accidents, and speed traps, with the option available both on the smartphone and on CarPlay.

Of course, it’s still not clear if this a feature that Apple wants to further evolve given the company always stays silent about its updates, but it’s currently available only in the United States with no international expansion currently confirmed.


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