By Tracey Dowdy
My early experiences with Apple Maps was less than impressive. From sending me to a disused grocery store parking lot instead of a funeral home and directing me the wrong way down one-way streets, I dumped the app and turned to Waze and Apple Maps for directions.
Apple has made multiple improvements since then, and its latest redesign finally gives Google Maps a run for its money.
Share your ETA
As of iOS 13.1, Apple lets you share your estimated time of arrival through Apple Maps, iMessage or text when you’re using Apple Maps navigation.
- Open Apple Maps and get turn-by-turn directions to the location.
- When viewing the directions, swipe up from the bottom of the area that displays your arrival time and shows the end button.
- Tap Share ETA.
- Select the contact or contacts with whom you want to share.
Apple Maps will be used to share your location, route, and ETA, if your iPhone is running iOS 13.1 or newer, and you’re sharing your ETA with someone with an iPhone on iOS 13.1 or newer. However, if you share your ETA with a non-iPhone user or someone running an older version of iOS on their Apple device, a message will be sent. Plus, if you run into traffic or another delay that extends your trip more than five minutes, the app will send an update with an adjusted ETA.
Maps are more detailed
Apple has worked hard to improve Maps and the new design features “better road coverage, pedestrian data, more precise addresses, and detailed land cover.” The updated, more detailed maps were included in iOS13.1 – no need to update manually.
Apple Maps now features Look Around, similar to Google’s Street View. It uses photos to show you exactly what a location looks like in person and allows you to move around the city streets. Currently, Look Around is that only available in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Oahu, Houston, and Los Angeles, though Apple plans to add more cities in the future.
The good news is that even if you don’t live in one of the supported cities you can still check out Look Around to see it in practice.
- Open Apple Maps and zoom in on a city that has Look Around.
- Zoom in to a specific area, or until you see a pair of binoculars show up in the top-right corner of the map.
- Select binoculars.
When the window opens, expand Look Around to full-screen mode by tapping on the double-arrow icon.
Once the window is open you can swipe around to change the direction of the photo, tap on the street to move further down the block. You can tap on the name of a business to zoom in on its address, hours, phone number and website, just like in Google Maps.
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.