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Apple Maps in iOS 13: Collections, Favorites, Look Around, and More

There are quite a few changes coming to the Maps app in iOS 13, which gives Apple Maps a feature set that more closely mirrors some of the tools and functionality available in more robust mapping apps like Google Maps.

The most interesting and notable change in Maps is the new Look Around feature, which is Apple's answer to Google's Street View function. Look Around lets you get a street level look at what's around you (or what you search for) in the Maps app.

Look Around leverages all of the Maps-related data collection that Apple has been doing, which has ranged from in-car data gathering for many months to data collecting on foot in select cities.

Look Around in the main ‌Apple Maps‌ view can be used wherever a pair of binoculars are shown. Tapping that delves into a close-up street level view of the location in a little card, which you can tap again to use the feature full screen.

Tapping around on the display lets you move through the Look Around area, and tapping on an area far in the distance does a neat zooming maneuver that's fun to watch. Notable points of interest, such as restaurants and businesses, are highlighted with identifying icons.

Look Around is limited to areas where a car can go because it's using data captured from a 360 degree camera on a vehicle. That means you can't zoom into areas like parks or beaches, for example, but Apple could add this function in the future since the company is collecting data on foot too.

As with Google Maps, personal information like license places and faces is blurred out to protect people's privacy.

Right now, Look Around is limited to select areas in the United States such as parts of California and Nevada, but Apple plans to expand availability after ‌iOS 13‌ is released. It is expected to be available across the United States in 2019, and other countries in 2020.

Maps in ‌iOS 13‌ has a "Favorites" option, which lets you search for specific locations and add them to a favorites list. Favorites are Home and Work by default, but you can add any location.

Tapping one of your favorite options brings up directions to that spot straight away, making the Favorites list the best place for the places that you travel to on a regular basis. Siri Suggestions is also used here to suggest places that you visit a lot that you might want to add.

There's also a new "Collections" feature where you can aggregate different locations, such as restaurants you want to try or places that you might want to visit.

All of your Collection lists can be shared, so you can make up lists of places for friends and family visiting you in your city and then share it with them, for example.

Apple on stage mentioned a revamped Maps interface in ‌iOS 13‌, but this appears to have been largely referring to changes that the company already started implementing in iOS 12.

There are, however, some noticeable changes to the main Maps interface even in areas where updated iOS 12 maps have already rolled out, such as a view of road hazards and traffic conditions that are normally only visible when turn-by-turn directions have been inputted. Traffic in ‌iOS 13‌ is visible on the main map.

Apple's ‌iOS 13‌ website specifically mentions more realistic details for roads, beaches, parks, buildings, and more, but it's not entirely clear if all of this is new.

Both Collections and Favorites are nice additions to ‌Apple Maps‌ that make it more useful, and Look Around is a fantastic new tool for getting a close look at what's nearby.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

Top Rated Comments

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19 weeks ago
Thank you Apple! Street View was the only reason for me to use Google Maps. Can’t wait.
Rating: 14 Votes
19 weeks ago
They should incorporate AR into Look Around - we can take vacation selfies without ever leaving the house.
Rating: 10 Votes
19 weeks ago
Look Around (Apple's Street View) is insanely great. There's just so much more details than Google Street View. I can read all the street signs, including parking hours. And the UI for driving around is also more elegant, although haptic feedback gets a bit old.
Rating: 7 Votes
19 weeks ago
I cannot wait till Apple rolls out the new map for Canada, I can then finally rid myself of the only google product I still use.
Rating: 7 Votes
19 weeks ago

I have personally steered clear of Apple Maps as at the beginning it wasn't accurate.

I am thinking about giving it another go as I'd like to distance myself from Google as much as possible....

What's your honest opinion of Apple Maps vs Google Maps?

I have been using Apple Maps only for the past couple years ditching google maps when google maps became confusing for me to use driving in the changed way they made the view. Then for some reason google multiple times in a row had me running in circles for directions I put in, never happened before with google maps and was the pushing point for me to put time in and try the switch to Apple Maps completely erasing google maps from my phone.

So far everything has been working great and I’ve came really accustom to how Apple maps works and handles functionality. I think Apple is sufficient in handling businesses, restaurants, gas stations, etc nearby or searches to be useable but could definitely improve on that feature section, being behind competition. Other than that I’ve never had a problem with accuracy and Apple maps always gives me more than one route to chose from when I type the address in then hit search. This is nice because if I know an area gets busy at a certain time I want to bypass, know of a wreck somewhere ,want to take a more scenic route, has different shops I want to hit on my route once looking at it or even to decide the best route for work on taking the most efficient option to take care of my customers. Another thing I really like is Apple maps tells you the weather and air index right on it, then also tells you what the speed limit is where you’re exactly at. This is nice because looking at the maps for directions, I miss speed signs and then guess what I should be going but now I always know the speed I should be going; which I think has saved me from tickets. I have a customer base that is very off the grid way back in on back roads in the country with a customer base that is also in bigger areas like towns and cities, Apple Maps has never let me down and has always got me to where I want to go; so far. Speaking of this another plus I like about Apple maps is these back in off the grid customers are in dead zones no cellular service areas and all I need for Apple maps to work, is enough service to load my route and hit go; after that I don’t need service ever again and it’ll get me there perfectly fine. No I don’t know what Google maps has and does now to compare but those are some stand out things I enjoy from using Apple maps now. The one feature I truly missed was street view though and was something I just managed without, but in my excitement it looks like Apple Maps is going to improve and give its users a missing sought after feature!
Rating: 6 Votes
19 weeks ago
How about offline maps? That would be an awesome feature for Apple to implement into Maps. Maybe they will in the future.....
Rating: 5 Votes
19 weeks ago
That all sound awesome, but I really want the biking directions that Google Maps has. I prefer Apple Maps so it syncs with the watch, but it does make a noticeable difference to having biking-specific directions. I sure hope Apple adds that at some point.
Rating: 5 Votes
19 weeks ago

Look Around (Apple's Street View) is insanely great. There's just so much more details than Google Street View. I can read all the street signs, including parking hours. And the UI for driving around is also more elegant, although haptic feedback gets a bit old.

"Elegant" is a great word for it. I was struggling for that one word that captured why Look Around blows Street View out of the water. Street View was always so clunky to use as you tried to click the arrows, etc., to move down the street and went back and forth to end up where you wanted to be or turn around 360 and get it to stop at the right spot. Street View now looks so primitive compared to Look Around. I am sure the folks at Google HQ soiled their pants when they saw it demonstrated.
Rating: 4 Votes
19 weeks ago
I'm most psyched about the ability to actually organize my Favorites in Maps. Right now they're... kind of a mess.

How about offline maps? That would be an awesome feature for Apple to implement into Maps. Maybe they will in the future.....

Huge +1 to this. I largely stopped using Google Maps a few years ago, but one feature that's brought me back to it occasionally is the ability to quickly save a map totally offline. It's a lifesaver on international trips if you want maps but don't want to spring for a SIM card -- and also anywhere cell coverage is weak.

Well... I haven't used google maps in a few years. It got to the point where I preferred Apple Maps - and it has never let me down. Also, it's been nice seeing how Apple Maps has improved over the years. Verbally letting me know which lane I should stay in for an upcoming turn was a nice improvement. Displayed route congestion is also nice.

I like how it's tied into the Apple ecosystem; ie, using Maps to plan a route on my laptop at home and having it instantly sent to Apple Maps on my phone when it's time to hit the road.

I really have no complaints. OTOH, I live in the SF Bay Area, so I can see how more attention might be given to Maps by Apple than a sparsely populated state/area. I suspect the LA area is well-supported as well.

I've used Apple Maps quite a bit on the East Coast, parts of the Midwest, the Northwest and in Spain and honestly it's quite good in all those places. Took us on a 2,000 mile road trip to the South with nary a hiccup the whole week. And transit in the cities I've used it in is spot on.

The ONE thing (in my experience) that Google Maps is still way way better with is local business and place info. Apple Maps has some glaring omissions there.
Rating: 4 Votes
19 weeks ago

I know this is kind of parallel to the current conversation, but will this compete with Waze?

I really like Waze (especially the auto-recalculate when it finds a faster route and the “Police Ahead” warnings of course) but I really dislike the fact that Google gets so much info from it.

Apple gets traffic data from Waze and combines it with what they crowd-source directly out of their app. That's nice and all... but I agree... Police Reported Ahead; and Construction Ahead... those are awesome to hear called out. :)
Rating: 3 Votes

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