Apple Maps
Apple has rolled out new Apple Maps featires to six new countries Pixabay

Apple has added a slew of exciting new Apple Maps features for its users in six countries. The American tech giant has been sparing no effort in trying to outperform its mapping rivals. As part of its strategy to attract more users, Apple rolls out some unique Apple Maps features from time to time.

The latest upgrades to the app suggest that the company wants to compete with Google Maps. The newfangled Apple Maps features are now available to users in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Slovenia, and Hungary. It will be interesting to see whether the newly added features will help Apple Maps outperform Google Maps.

Apple Maps Vs. Google Maps: Which is a better navigation app?

Android phone users rely on Google Maps for navigation. Notably, Google Maps is a preinstalled service available on all Android devices. However, Google Maps is also available in the Apple App Store, meaning iOS device users can also use it if they prefer. Apple Maps, on the other hand, is exclusively available for iOS devices and can't be downloaded through the Google Play Store. Let's find out which navigation app does a better job in terms of getting the user from point A to Point B.

Google Maps boasts useful features like real-time traffic updates and live locations. Aside from this, it supports Google services including Google Assistant for hands-free control. Meanwhile, Apple Maps has features like voice-guided navigation, real-time traffic, Look Around, and offline maps. Apple Maps can be used hands-free since it has Siri integration. Both Google Maps and Apple Maps provide a dark mode option during late-night driving.

Folks at Tom's Guide claim Google Maps is a better navigation app than Apple Maps due to Google's practice of data collection. Apple Maps focuses on user privacy. So, it can't use the data to make improvements. However, Google Maps can show real-time updates such as how late a train might be. On the downside, everything you search for is being monitored for the company's own benefit.

In other words, Google Maps isn't an ideal navigation app for privacy-conscious users. Nevertheless, finding new places is easier on Google Maps. Aside from this, Google Maps offers a wider Street View than Apple's Look Around. Apple Maps has a simpler interface, coupled with a cleaner design, while Google Maps adopts a relatively cluttered design.

So, it is safe to say that Apple Maps is ideal for users who value privacy above all else. Alternatively, you can go for Google Maps if you prefer a service that provides more information.

However, it is worth noting that the new Apple Maps features have been available to US-based users since 2018. Apple has expanded the coverage nearly twenty times since then, according to a report by 9To5Mac. Now, let's check out the recently rolled-out Apple Maps features.

New Apple Maps features

Apple Maps have received a myriad of useful features including Look Around, Share ETA, Natural Language Guidance, and Lane Guidance. Notably, Apple has been focusing on making Apple Maps competitive lately. In line with this, the Cupertino-based tech firm has been occasionally adding new experiences to its web mapping service.

According to a post on the Apple Newsroom website, these new features are essential elements in building Apple Maps from scratch. Like most tech giants, Apple tests beta modes of new features before making them available to its users.

The new Apple Maps features also include electric vehicle charging points, hazard warnings, multi-stop routing, speed, and red light camera locations. These features will help users in a wide range of situations. For instance, Natural Language Guidance will offer users voice prompts such as "Turn right at the next traffic light."

Likewise, the Share ETA feature will automatically inform your authorised contacts of your estimated time of arrival. Aside from this, it also shares your location with your friends and family. Also, there are a few Apple Maps features that can come in handy while using public transport. These include "Find nearby stations", "Notifications when it's time to get off" and "Pin favorite line."

The aforesaid features have gained huge popularity among iPhone users. In fact, even Apple Maps competitors have added some of them to increase the usability of their maps. For example, Citymapper provides a feature called Get Off Alerts which is similar to the notifications when it's time to get off feature.

Look Around, Flyover, Indoor maps

Look Around offers 3D photo-based street-level imagery. While this feature is still unavailable in Austria, Apple said it will be rolling it out soon. Flyover provides users with a 3D view of major landmarks. Moreover, users can rotate, tilt, and pan these locations. Indoor maps allow you to use the app inside shopping centers or airports to find stores, restrooms, and restaurants. It also shows whether a store is open.

You do not need to sign in to use Apple Maps. Personalised features are provided with the help of on-device intelligence. The data collected while using the Apple Maps app is linked to random identifiers that keep resetting. As a result, the search and location data on the server can't connect to an identifiable user.

Furthermore, Apple Maps uses a process dubbed "fuzzing" to hide the user's location on Apple servers. Also, Apple Maps changes the exact location where the search originated to a less precise location within 24 hours. To those unaware, Apple recently introduced a myriad of equally exciting new features with its latest iOS 16.4 update for iPhone users.