The Cupertino-based iPhone maker may be gearing up for a massive expansion of the updated Apple Maps, as its debut in several countries is likely a matter of time.
Apple announced the new Apple Maps in 2018. It contains Apple’s own map data and more details, such as crosswalks, 3D buildings, stop signs during navigation, traffic lights, walking paths, vegetation between roads, and so on.
In terms of navigation, the new Apple Maps offers 3D support on both iPhones and CarPlay. Using in-house generated 3D models of buildings and landmarks, Apple Maps makes the navigation experience easier by accurately displaying the road on the screen.
Since the 2018 announcement, the rollout of the new Apple Maps has been progressing slowly. Indeed, Apple has brought it to several countries other than the United States, including Spain, Portugal, Canada, and the United Kingdom, but most regions, especially Europe, still use the old version.
It seems that this may change sooner rather than later. Apple has begun testing new Apple Maps data in Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary. This appears to be the biggest Apple Maps expansion to date, but it’s not yet known when the rollout could begin.
The level of detail available in these countries is the same as in the United States. Users can explore these regions with 3D buildings and even rural farm names.
For now, the new Apple Maps experience is only available for testing. This means that it is not yet widely available and only certain users can access it. Most people are still tied to the old version of Apple Maps, but I suspect the public rollout of the revision isn’t very far off.
Apple seems to be accelerating the rollout of the updated Apple Maps. The company fell behind in terms of functionality compared to Google Maps, so by bringing the new maps to more users, it’s making its software a more advanced alternative in the map market.
In the meantime, the iPhone maker also has several other shortcomings of Apple Maps to fix. The expansion of the new maps is certainly good news for everyone, but the application still lacks essential features. Offline maps are not available in Apple Maps, while Google Maps offers such capabilities in most regions around the world.
At the same time, satellite map navigation is not supported. Apple Maps comes with satellite maps, but for some reason Apple Maps reverts to the default layer when route guidance is enabled. Offline map support and satellite mode navigation are two of the most requested features in Apple Maps right now.