Apple’s iOS 17 brings some exciting new features and updates to the iOS 17 Map app. iOS 17 Map has been completely redesigned to offer more detailed maps, new ways to explore, immersive city experiences, and more. Here’s a look at some of the key new capabilities coming to Maps in iOS 17.
One of the biggest changes in iOS 17 Map is the addition of offline maps. For the first time, users will be able to download select maps to their device and access them without an internet connection. This allows for turn-by-turn navigation, search, and other key mapping features even when you don’t have a signal.
To use offline maps, go to the new Maps menu and select “Offline Maps.” You can then download individual cities, states, or countries to your device. The downloaded maps will appear under “Available Offline Maps” so you can easily see what’s accessible when you lose your connection. Apple says the amount of storage space required will vary based on the size of the area downloaded.
Offline maps open up Maps to new use cases like international travel where data is limited or exploring remote hiking trails where cell service is spotty. It brings Maps closer in line with dedicated GPS units in terms of off-the-grid capabilities.
In iOS 17, Apple has completely rebuilt navigation in Maps from the ground up. The new navigation experience is designed to be easier to follow, more realistic, and more visually engaging.
Turn-by-turn directions now feature much larger, interactive junction views to clearly highlight exactly where to enter and exit. New lane guidance and road signposts also help you prepare for exits and stays on the proper route.
Augmented reality (AR) has also been incorporated into navigation. When approaching a complicated intersection, Maps can superimpose animated directional arrows onto the real-world view from your phone’s camera. This AR overlay acts as a heads-up display to show you where to go.
Night mode has also been added to navigation to reduce eye strain when driving at night. And Siri natural language guidance has been enhanced to make voice guidance while navigating sound more natural.
Immersive City Experiences
iOS 17 Maps brings a beautiful new city experience for popular metropolitan areas. When viewing select major cities, you’ll see much greater detail including more realistic and interactive 3D buildings, new road colors and labels, increased land cover detail like grass, trees, and parking lots, and animated traffic.
You can tap on landmarks to learn more about them or zoom in from a broader view down to individual roads and buildings. It creates a highly detailed, immersive experience when exploring cities in Maps. This experience is coming first to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and London.
Redesigned Place Cards
The place cards you see when searching for and tapping on a location have been completely redesigned in iOS 17. The new cards look great, with fresh colors, typography, and iconography. But they also surface much more useful information.
You’ll see expanded business information such as hours, phone numbers, ratings, photos, and more. For airports, transit stations, and malls, there are indoor maps available right from the place card. And for national parks, you get details on visitors centers, campgrounds, trails and prominent natural features. It makes the place cards much more informative at a glance.
Maps in iOS 17 features a new Guides section dedicated to curated collections of notable businesses and locations. The selections are made by a team of Apple editors to point you to the best restaurants, shops, parks, historic sites, and more in an area.
Guides act as mini-itineraries to help you find hidden gems and plan outings. They’re divided by categories like food & drink, shopping, and nature so you can browse suggestions based on your interests. Guides will be available for select major cities worldwide.
The transit features in Maps are getting some nice upgrades in iOS 17 as well. When planning transit trips, Maps will now let you pin your departure or arrival times to get the best route based on when you want to travel. This makes it easier to coordinate buses, trains, and subways around your schedule.
In select cities, Maps will integrate with transit cards and passes on your iPhone so you can simply tap to pay for fares directly in the app. And some cities will also support highly detailed indoor maps for transit stations, malls, and airports so you can navigate large buildings.
Improved Driver Safety Features
Maps in iOS 17 brings some new tools aimed at promoting driver safety. A new speed limit indicator will be displayed prominently as you drive, making the current speed limit easier to see at a glance. Maps will also warn you when approaching intersections and cameras with frequent accidents, allowing you to take extra caution.
If your iPhone senses a severe car crash while you’re driving, it can automatically place a call to emergency services to get help on the way. This new crash detection and emergency calling will hopefully save lives and get medical attention faster following an accident.
In addition to the major new features above, Maps in iOS 17 brings some other useful improvements:
- Elevation details have been added to terrain maps, clearly showing elevation gains on routes and trails
- Biking and walking directions now let you choose less crowded routes to avoid dense urban areas
- EV routing helps electric vehicle drivers plan trips with ideal charging stops along the way
- There are over 40 new road colors and label changes to simplify complex intersections
- Food delivery pickup and dropoff is now integrated into driving directions from select partners
- Support for third-party mapping extensions allows apps like Trailforks and OnX to enhance outdoor recreation directions
Maps in iOS 17 represents the biggest update for the platform yet. With beautiful new immersive city views, offline support, redesigned place cards, transit integration, and improved navigation, it’s a huge leap forward. For anyone who relies on Apple Maps, iOS 17 makes it more powerful, intuitive, and enjoyable to use.
iOS 17 Maps FAQ
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the new iOS 17 Maps app:
What cities support the new immersive 3D city maps?
The new incredibly detailed city experience in Maps is rolling out first to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and London. More cities will be added over time.
Do I need to be connected to the internet to use Maps features?
Many Maps features like standard directions and navigation require an internet connection. However, with iOS 17 you can now download select maps to use offline when not connected. Offline maps allow turn-by-turn navigation, search, and other functionality.
How do offline maps work?
To enable offline maps, go to the new Maps menu and select “Offline Maps.” You can then download individual cities, states, or whole countries to your device storage. Those maps will then be accessible in Maps without an internet connection. The amount of storage required varies based on map size.
What are Guides in Maps?
Guides are curated selections of the best restaurants, shops, attractions, parks, and other locations in a city. They act as mini-itineraries of editor-recommended spots to help you find hidden gems and plan activities. Guides are divided by category to match your interests.
Do I need to update to iOS 17 to get the new Maps features?
Yes, the major redesign and key new capabilities introduced in Maps require iOS 17. So you’ll need to update to the latest version of iOS once it’s publicly released to access features like immersive cities, offline maps, and Guides.
Is Maps going to replace Google Maps on iPhone?
Apple Maps is the default mapping app on iPhones, while Google Maps is available as a third-party download. iOS 17 Maps introduces many new features aimed at making it more competitive with apps like Google Maps. But it’s ultimately up to user preference which navigation app works best for you.
Will Maps work on older iPhones models?
While iOS 17 Maps will work on any iPhone capable of updating to iOS 17, some features are limited to newer iPhone models. For example, immersive 3D city maps require an iPhone XS or later. And AR walking directions need an iPhone 11 or later. Offline maps should be available on any iOS 17 device.
Does Maps integrate with CarPlay?
Yes, Maps is tightly integrated with Apple CarPlay. When connected to CarPlay, you’ll be able to access Apple Maps for turn-by-turn navigation, destination search, gas station locating, EV routing, and other functions right from your vehicle’s dashboard screen.
The redesigned Maps app introduces some of the biggest changes the platform has ever seen. With beautiful new city views, offline support, improved navigation, and clever features like Guides, Maps is now more capable than ever. For anyone who regularly relies on Maps for driving, transit, or exploring, iOS 17 makes it an indispensable app. The level of polish, detail, and functionality now rivals any mapping and navigation service available. Maps has come a very long way since it first launched, and the improvements in iOS 17 are truly impressive.