Goodbye, Google Maps: Apple’s “New” Alternative Quietly Launches for More Users

CC™ MobiliTech

By Bogdan Popa

The rollout of the new so-called Detailed City Experience is taking place in stages. On the other hand, Apple never seemed to be in a rush to reach the broad availability stage, especially as the company seems to focus particularly on delivering an upgraded experience.

The new maps come with an impressive level of detail. They include road markings, trees, elevation, crosswalks, and everything else you typically find on the road.

3D landmark models play a major role in the new Apple Maps version. Apple has been working around the clock on the 3D makeover, and the release in Boston embraces the same direction.

Fenway Park, the Museum of Fine Arts, and other landmarks in Boston are all part of the new Apple Maps with 3D versions. They can be explored on both the iPhone and Mac using an up-to-date version of Apple Maps.

The navigation provided to drivers is also getting a facelift. The 3D component is expanded on this front as well, so users can see further road details, including the approaching crosswalks and the nearby buildings. So, figuring out which way they need to go is more straightforward given the Apple Maps version accurately reproduces the real world.

The new Apple Maps also includes traffic lights and stop signs as drivers approach an intersection.

The debut of Apple’s new-generation Google Maps alternative in Boston is living proof the company is committed to building a better mapping service.

This incredibly slow rollout seems to be the main shortcoming that prevents Google Maps users from jumping ship. Google typically releases new features at a faster pace, and as such, Google Maps adopters get a chance to try them out quicker.

In the case of Apple Maps, the Detailed City Experience was announced in 2021, whereas the “new” version of the service based on Apple’s own maps was confirmed in mid-2018. Since then, the company has been working mostly on expanding the availability, but a big part of Europe is yet to get the new experience.

Apple needs to continue the work on improving Apple Maps from a feature perspective. Apple Maps is lacking essential features that are otherwise available in competing products like Google Maps. 

Oddly enough, Apple Maps does not sport satellite map navigation, despite the satellite maps actually being available in the app. Offline maps are missing as well, so right now, the only way to get route guidance with Apple’s solution is to keep your device connected to the Internet all the time. Apple has so far remained tight-lipped on whether it plans to add these features to Apple Maps in the long term or not.