12 steps to getting more from Apple’s Maps

Do you know your Location button?

Apple, iOS, iPhone, Maps
Credit: Apple

Even if it doesn’t plan on porting the service to Android, Apple continues to improve Maps. So I’ve put together this short guide to the service.

Where am I?

Most Maps users probably know that a single tap on the location icon (the arrowhead at bottom left of the display) will center your location on the Map. Tap the button a second time and the map will swing round and orient itself to what’s ahead of you, or tap the Compass icon (top right) to orient to true North.

Where can I find?

Search doesn’t just let you search for places, but also for services. Tap the search bar and choose from the circled options that appear (Food, Drink, Shopping, Fun, Travel). Maps will tell you about any relevant places nearby, offering reviews and results taken from Yelp. If you see one you like, just tap the pin to get directions, (tap the Details button, tap Directions to Here, and finally, tap Route). You can also use Force Touch to quickly access this information.

Siri tip

You can always ask Siri: "Where am I," "How do I get home," or "Where's the nearest pro-Sanders rally?" (Well, it may not know that last item). But you can always try asking Siri for directions first.

How will I get there?

Now that you’ve decided where you want to go, Maps will help you get there. If you live in Baltimore, Beijing, Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Toronto or Washington, you can now get public transit directions, just tap the Transport tab at top of the pane.

Turn-by-turn driving

I’ll assume you know how to get driving directions, but one little known Maps feature lets you adjust the volume of the voice giving you directions independently of the rest of your audio playback. To set this open Settings>Maps and you can choose No Voice, Low Voice, Normal Volume or Loud Volume for this.

What’s the traffic like?

Apple offers real-time traffic information within Maps. To check this you should tap the ‘i’ ion in Maps and choose Show Traffic. Orange dots represent slow traffic while red dots show a traffic jam. Maps will suggest alternative routes.

Local knowledge

Apple offers Popular Apps Nearby. This shows you the most popular travel, navigation and news apps used by others in the area, which could help you find the best public transport information, for example. To access this, just launch Maps, tap the blue dot that shows where you are, and choose Current Location. You should see the popular apps around halfway down the screen.

Find me

Share your location using the Share button, or choose Details>Share My Location in Messages.

Where’s my car?

Open Maps at your location when you park your car and tap to place a pin – now you just need to select that pin and get directions to get back to your car. This is much easier with 3D Touch, when you can simply tap and hold the Maps icon on your iPhone and subsequently tap Mark My Location on the next screen when you park.

Remove pin

To remove a pin just tap to select it and choose Remove Pin on the next screen. 3D Touch users just need to press the pin to get a menu that lets you Share Location, Remove Pin or get Directions to that place.

Creating Favorites

You can save your favorite places really easily, just tap the heart icon once you’ve tapped on the location. You can also choose ‘Add to Favorites’ in the Share pane. In the future, when you tap on the search field in Maps you’ll see a shortcut to your collection of Favorites appear in the suggestions below.

Using Flyover

Apple offers 3D aerial tours of several major cities. To access Flyover, type the name of the city you want to take a look at in the Search bar, hit search and then tap the location pin on the Map. If it is available for your chosen city you should see Flyover Tour around halfway down the page.

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