The big update we’ve been waiting for is finally here, but forget about bikes…

The new Maps have arrived! Il s’accompagne de son nouveau fond de carte, de ses routes plus précises, de ses bâtiments plus détaillés, ses nouveautés fonctionnelles que sentent parfois bon la réalité augmentée, et des progresses appréciables dans le guidage à pied, en voiture ou en transport in common. On the other hand, forget about the bike, it is not for this time.

We’ve been waiting… four years. Presented in June 2018, during the opening speech of the WWDC, but initially reserved for a handful of countries, such as the United States, the new Plan finally arrives in France.
Why “finally”? Because in addition to the passage of time, the list of countries that benefit from it has been growing over the years. It now has around ten countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and even Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Germany. The good news is, therefore, that France and Monaco join this great family this Friday, July 8, 2022.


What are the new Plans?

After the fresh start in iOS 6 in 2012, and the many problems we remember, sometimes amusing and sometimes bordering on tragedy, Apple, with iOS 12, decided to overhaul its maps and navigation software.

At the heart of this luxury move, aimed at catching up with Google, was, of course, a more readable, more accurate and more detailed basemap, requiring specially equipped vehicles but also pedestrians to travel millions of miles. Therefore, the map has improved outdoors, but also indoors, with the mapping of certain buildings, whether they are airports or shopping malls. Thus it is possible to avoid getting lost in the labyrinth of corridors of an unknown terminal or between stores to reach your goal directly.

Little by little, and especially with iOS 15, Apple has also been introducing new features.

We are thinking, among other things, of 3D experiences to better measure the buildings and spaces of certain cities, such as Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Monaco or even Carcassonne and La Rochelle. Not to mention the function. Look aroundthat allows from the classic map, by pressing a button that represents small binoculars, to see a monument in photo.

Apple maps, before and after.  Carcassonne and Mont Saint-Michel.
Apple – Apple plans, before and after. Carcassonne and Mont Saint-Michel.

All these advances and novelties are available in France from July 8.

More detailed and natural navigation.

But the most useful advance in everyday life is the navigation system. French users now benefit from increased basemap accuracy, especially for roads, allowing them to better navigate. Therefore, when changing lanes, at a sprawling motorway junction, the view changes to give you a more detailed representation of which lanes are in front of you and which one you need to take.

In addition, Apple indicates that it has worked to improve the instructions that are now given in natural language (or more natural, in any case). Not only will you be directed to turn right, but “Put yourself in the right lane after the traffic light to be able to take the first street on the right”for instance.

Among the information, speed limits are also added. Plans, like most of its competitors, tells you what speed you must respect in the section you are taking.

This high level of detail is also available when using public transport. As long as you have a connection to the mobile network to locate you precisely, Maps can thus notify you when you are approaching the station where you have to get off.

If you are more of a tireless pedestrian, the new Maps also offer to guide you in augmented reality in cities like Lyon, Marseille, Nice and, of course, Paris. Then follow the steps one by one. To activate it, simply point your iPhone’s camera at a building, Maps will determine where you are and show you where to go on the real-world overlay screen.

Missing one!

In short, Apple reinforces the attractiveness of its service for users who travel by car, on foot, by public transport, by bicycle… Oh, no. Surprisingly, the bicycle route calculation function is not yet available in France (and Monaco). Optimized routes depending on the unevenness, contamination areas, etc. therefore, they are not yet on France’s agenda. It’s a shame. This is one of the reasons why many iOS users, including us, still use Google Maps or other apps, like Geovelo, Komoot, etc.

Obviously, Apple has no date to communicate about the future availability of this function. We only know that the work is underway and, given the exponential development of cycle paths in France since the pandemic, listing and mapping them is no easy task. Regardless, the Plans team has learned from its past stumbles and says it wants its work done before putting itself in everyone’s hands.

Vince Fernandez

"Professional food trailblazer. Devoted communicator. Friendly writer. Avid problem solver. Tv aficionado. Lifelong social media fanatic."

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