Apple details iOS 15 Maps improvements, plans for 3D view expansion

Apple Maps 3d Map Screens
Apple Maps 3d Map Screens (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has detailed the improved 3D maps that are part of iOS 15.
  • Apple has shared a list of cities where the improved 3D mapping data is available with more coming.

Apple has today detailed the improvements Maps has gone through as part of the iOS 15 refresh, with new 3D mapping data gaining improved levels of detail in a select handful of cities.

As of right now, the new map data is available in London, Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area, but Apple also says that more cities are coming online.

Apple Maps introduces a new way to navigate cities with a visually stunning 3D map that offers unprecedented detail for neighborhoods, commercial districts, marinas, buildings, and more. Now users can see elevation details across a city, new road labels, and hundreds of custom-designed landmarks like Coit Tower in San Francisco, Dodger Stadium in LA, the Statue of Liberty in NYC, and the Royal Albert Hall in London, with more to come. A beautiful nighttime mode with a moonlit glow activates at dusk. The city map experience is now available in London, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, and later this year, it will be available in Philadelphia, San Diego, and Washington, D.C. Support for additional cities, including Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, will be available next year.

Apple also explained a raft of iOS 15 Maps features in today's Newsroom post, taking time to show off enhanced navigation capabilities for drivers.

Maps now features even more road details to help drivers navigate through cities more easily and safely. Turn lanes, medians, bus and taxi lanes, and crosswalks are clearly displayed for navigating busy intersections, and highways with overlapping complex interchanges are rendered in a road-level 3D view, making it easier to see upcoming traffic conditions or the best lane for an approaching exit. Route planning provides the estimated time of arrival for future departures based on expected traffic. The new navigation will be available through CarPlay later this year.

Apple Maps Ios 15 Transit Screens

Apple Maps Ios 15 Transit Screens (Image credit: Apple)

Improvements to mass transit, walking directions, and new curated guides are also part of the recent iOS 15 update. You can learn more about what Apple has been working on in the newsroom post now.

After spending years playing second fiddle to Google Maps, Apple's mapping features and fidelity has improved greatly of late — especially if you happen to be in one of the cities that have received these new maps.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.