Apple Maps just got way better in a handful of European countries

Apple Maps Transit Iphone X Hero Resized
(Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

Apple Maps has gained new features in several European countries with Look Around and more now available in more locations than ever before.

Apple has confirmed that the Maps improvements are now live in Netherlands, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. Eddy Cue, Apple's Senior Vice President of Services, says that Apple is "excited to let even more users benefit from [...] the new features we're introducing today."

All mapped out

The updated Apple Maps includes several improvements, including the Look Around feature. "The 'Look Around' feature in Maps offers high-resolution street-level images, 3D photos, and smooth transitions," Apple says.

People can now enjoy step-by-step walking instructions in augmented reality by holding up their iPhones. Buildings are automatically scanned, and Apple Maps provides directions based on what it sees.

There's more, too. "Drivers with certain electric cars can also plan their ride in Maps with suitable charging points, taking into account differences in altitude and other factors along the route." At the same time, public access users can find nearby stations and more. Some travelers can also see how much a trip will cost within Maps and put their transit subscription in the Wallet app, too — assuming they have iOS 16 installed.

Apple has been steadily improving its Maps app across its platforms recently. Of course, Google Maps was once very much the better app with much improved maps, but that isn't the case now — especially if you happen to live in an area that benefits from the very best Apple Maps features like those rolling out to new countries today.

The use of augmented reality is perhaps also a nod toward Apple's future headset and AR glasses plans, using the latest technologies to overlay digital information in the real world.

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.