We recently reported on a suite of rumored iOS 17 Apple Maps upgrades that might finally make you switch from Google Maps, but Apple’s navigation app is now confirmed to be getting a feature that Google’s platform has had for years.
When iOS 17 arrives later this year, the update will introduce offline functionality in Apple Maps for the first time. Per Apple’s own description, “users [will be able to] easily select an area on their device and download it with just a tap. While offline, [they] will be able to access turn-by-turn navigation for driving, walking, transit, and cycling; see their estimated time of arrival; find places in Maps; and more.”
In other words, you’ll soon be able to download directions and information for entire areas prior to hitting the road, sparing you the frustration of losing connection – or using up precious cellular data – when you’re out and about.
(Image credit: Apple)
Also arriving in iOS 17 is the ability to see real-time electric vehicle charging availability in Maps (above). Apple says the app will filter by charging network and plug type, and users with compatible vehicles will be able to designate their preferred options.
Apple is making it easier to discover park trails across the US, too, with iOS 17 introducing place cards in Maps that will include details like trail length and type, difficulty, and elevation gain. Presumably, this feature will roll out to other regions shortly after debuting on the US version of the app.
Leaked images of Apple Maps’ ‘Live Activity’ interface upgrade (Image credit: Future / @analyst941)
We haven’t yet seen Apple confirm the ‘Live Activity’ lock screen feature that serial Apple tipster @analyst941 teased back in May (above), so this may be something that the company holds for future iterations of iOS 17.
Given the handful of confirmed upgrades coming to Apple’s navigation software later this year, though, the Apple Maps vs. Google Maps debate looks set for a shake-up.
We’ll be taking Apple Maps for a spin as and when we get our hands on the iOS 17 beta. In the meantime, read our roundup of the 10 best iOS 17 features announced at WWDC 2023.