The Apple iPhone group presents its revised map service in Germany. Among other things, it now contains improved directions and navigation functions in augmented reality.
Almost a year after the announcement, Apple is bringing its improved map service to Germany. New features include more details, right down to individual trees and traffic lights. Street photos in the “Look Around” service – Apple’s answer to Google’s Street View – will initially only be available for Munich, as announced by the iPhone group.
Digital maps have become the foundation for many applications, from finding a location for nearby stores and places to navigating in a car. Apple made the strategic decision more than a decade ago to set up its own mapping service instead of the Google maps initially used on the iPhone.
Specific navigation instructions
After initial difficulties, the group invested heavily in the service and, among other things, also sent camera cars to German cities. These images are not only used for the “look around” function, but also to enhance maps, including displaying speed limits and details such as zebra crossings.
Another innovation is the more specific navigation instructions, such as “turn right after the next traffic light” instead of “turn right after 50 meters”. In shopping malls, the app should now not only lead to the parking lot, but also to the desired store.
A lane assist should help avoid wrong turns and missed exits. In addition, the service now also shows the maximum speed allowed on the roads.
Augmented Reality for pedestrians
Apple is also adding augmented reality to its mapping service. In several German cities, the maps app will in future be able to access the iPhone’s camera to display directional arrows in the cityscape on the screen for better orientation.
In the future, users will also be able to share an estimated arrival time with friends and family. According to Apple, recipients “can track the trip and if there is a significant delay, Maps will notify them with an updated arrival time estimate.”
Apple introduced the new version of the map service in early June last year at the WWDC developer conference. It has been available in eight countries so far, including the US, UK, Spain, Italy, and Portugal.