Apple Maps vans are out and about in Hong Kong ahead of a huge upgrade

Apple Maps
Apple Maps (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple Maps vans are driving around Hong Kong to build out the Look Around feature.
  • Look Around will give Apple Maps users a 3D view of an area, similar to Google Street View.

Apple Maps vans are driving around the streets of Hong Kong in an effort to capture the footage needed to bring the Look Around feature to the country.

According to the South China Morning Post and Apple Insider, the vans started doing their thing today ahead of an expansion of the Look Around feature.

Look Around works in a similar way to Google's Street View, giving users a 3D look at an area before they travel. It's great for finding shops and whatnot before setting off and Apple continues to roll Look Around out to more areas around the globe.

Importantly, Apple will make sure that all people have their faces blurred and the same goes for car registration plates, too.

Apple is promising to do everything it can to ensure Hongkongers' privacy won't be threatened: the vans won't be connected to the internet so all data is stored locally, and all faces and number plates which appear will be blurred.

What's more, Apple says those concerned about privacy can make a special request to have other things blurred – including homes as a whole.

Apple says people can also visit Apple's website and submit a request to have their private property blurred out even more. For example, if Apple's vans capture the interior of your flat through a window, you can request that window be blurred.

There's no telling when Hong Kong residents can expect Look Around to go live, however.

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.