Over the years, Apple Maps has had more than its share of fans and detractors. However, with constant improvements, Apple Maps is now arguably on par with Google Maps. Do you want to get directions, find retail phone numbers or hours or locate the nearest Starbucks? All of those searches and more are just a few keystrokes away. Did you know that you can see weather conditions where you are traveling to? Keep reading to learn more Apple Maps features you may not know about.
Changing the Map View
As often as you jump in and out of Apple Maps, you may have never realized you can change your view. You have a few main options. The first is to identify the toolbar and look for “Map, Transit or Satellite.” Press the “Info” icon, which is identifiable as a lowercase “i.” Once in there, you can choose which of the three views you would like to see. Map is the default view, while transit will show you all public transit methods nearby. Satellite view is fairly self-explanatory and changes from the colorful view to a real-world look at your location.
Changing Your Perspective
When you open the maps app, you are greeted with an all-too-familiar view. The top-down view, or 2D, is viewed as though you are flying above the map. Did you know you can change that to 3D? Changing your perspective to 3D is a great way to get a better perspective of the world around you. It may not help with directions, but it’s a really enjoyable way to see the streets, city and world around you.
You have a few different methods to enter 3D view, but the easiest is to enter satellite view using the “i” button. Once you are in satellite view, a “3D” button will appear if the area you are in has 3D-compatible geography. When you enter satellite view, the map view will tilt slightly, and as you scroll in, objects including buildings or parks will start to appear in 3D mode. Note that 3D mode will not work unless you zoom in on the map. While in 3D mode, you can also switch back to Map or Transit view to see the map more grayscale.
One of the easiest customizations on Apple Maps is using the look-around feature. This Apple Maps feature is enabled whenever you see the binoculars icon in the upper right in any location. One tap of the binoculars icon turns into a street-level view of any location that is in the frame. Tap the little card at the top of the window, and you see street level in full screen. Whether you are in full screen or preview, you can navigate around the immediate area and easily locate your place of interest. This is the perfect way to customize the map and find exactly what or where you need to find.
Creating a Collection
One of the most customizable aspects of Apple Maps is the ability to create a collection of favorite places. Do you have a few favorite parks, restaurants or coffee shops you like to regularly visit? Build a collection.
1. Search for any topic you like. In this case, use a local park.
2. Look directly beneath the large blue button for directions and locate the “Add to” button that has a “+” button. Tap it.
3. You can create a collection of favorites or add to an existing collection. Create as many or as few collections you want and quickly refer back to them to find a location (or park) you want to visit.
Starting a Favorites List
Like collections, favorites is another way of building a list of locations you regularly visit and want to access quickly. However, unlike collections, favorites are generally more specific to individual locations than a number of places like parks. Home and work favorites are generally available as default options, but you can add your favorite grocery store, restaurant or shopping mall you regularly visit. If you have not used favorites previously, you are missing out on the fastest way to work in Apple Maps.
Driving and Transit Options
Are you on the road a lot, or do you regularly use public transportation? Customizing both of these options can help Apple Maps navigate to the fastest way possible to your destination. On an iPhone, head to “Settings -> Maps -> Driving & Navigation.”
You now have a few options including Tools and/or Highways. Choosing one or another will allow the maps app to know if you want to travel on highways and/or roads that require tolls. If they are active (showing green), you have now chosen to avoid tolls and highways. If they are turned “off,” highways and tolls will populate as part of your navigation and directions.
Similarly, you have a different set of options you can choose for Transit directions. Head to “Settings -> Maps -> Transit.” You have options for Bus, Subway/Light Rail, Commuter Rail and Ferry. Should you wish to use one or all of these methods, make sure they are checked. If you would prefer not to use ferries when navigating, uncheck the line. Simple.
Apple Maps has made huge strides in the past few iOS iterations. A lot of features have been added in as well. If you have not given it a look in a while, now is the time to do so. One of the more useful Apple Maps features that we didn’t mention above is that you can use it to find shops that accept Apple Pay.