With iOS 17, Apple Maps looks to catch up with Google Maps, set to roll out big feature

iOS 17 is set to bring one feature to Apple Maps that Google Maps has had for years - offline maps.

| Updated on: Aug 17 2023, 16:09 IST
iOS 17 in Photos: Phone, Messages, and more iPhone apps revamped
iOS 17
1/5 Messages - Messaging gets fun with iOS 17 as Apple brings Live Stickers made from Live Photos to a new Sticker Library in Messages! Furthermore, these stickers can be used in other areas of the system where Markup is available. Other features include a quick gesture to reply to a specific message, the ability to share your location directly in the chat, and the option to jump to the last message you read. (Apple)
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2/5 Phone - In the Phone app, users now have the option to customize their call screen. They can choose different fonts, use Memoji, and more. This allows users to make their call screen unique and give a specific look to different contacts they call. The new Live Voicemail feature on iOS17 shows a live transcription of incoming calls for better screening as people speak. (Apple)
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3/5 Journal app - The new Journal app allows users to easily write down their thoughts, ideas, and experiences in a digital journal. It provides a convenient way to keep track of important moments and memories. You can also add photos, map locations, and music links to journal entries. (Apple)
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4/5 Standby feature - The new Standby feature converts your iPhone into a smart display with information like time and photos available at a glance when it is placed on a nightstand or desk. This feature helps conserve battery life by optimizing system performance when the device is not in active use. (Apple)
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5/5 Other notable features - With iOS17, iPhone users will be able to leave a video message when they try to place a video call on FaceTime in case the receiver does not answer. Moreover, there are also enhanced privacy features in Safari, mental health features in Health, offline maps in Maps, collaborative playlists in Apple Music as well as other security and privacy updates. (Apple)
iOS 17
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Apple Maps will get offline maps functionality soon with iOS 17 update. (Unsplash)

Apple versus Google has been a long-drawn battle. The two technology giants have been competing to provide the best smartphone operating systems in the market. While both companies have been neck to neck in most cases, Google, in the past few years, has taken a major leap with its navigation software, Google Maps. Despite Apple Maps constantly rolling out new features in recent years, it still trails behind Google due to one simple reason - the lack of offline maps.

However, this could soon change, as iOS 17 is set to bring offline maps to Apple Maps on iPhones starting next month.

Offline Maps

With offline maps, users can still get directions and turn-by-turn navigation in areas where there is little to no network connectivity. Instead of just getting stranded, you can download a section of the map on your smartphone beforehand and use it when you don't have access to Wi-Fi or cellular data. Google Maps has added this feature for years, and now Apple's own Maps app is set to get it.

Announced at WWDC 2023 on June 5, iOS 17 will allow users to save an area of a map on their iPhones and explore it while offline. With this feature, users can also view information like hours and ratings on place cards and get turn-by-turn directions for driving, walking, cycling, or riding transit, according to Apple's iOS 17 preview.

How to download offline maps in iOS 17

Step 1: To download offline maps on your iPhone, tap on your avatar and then tap on the new ‘Offline Maps' option.

Step 2: Next, tap on the ‘Download New Map' option.

Step 3: The app will now ask you to select the area for which you require directions. It will now tell you the storage size that the offline map will take up.

Step 4: Tap on ‘Download' to save the map. It will be added to the downloaded list.

When there is no network available, Apple Maps will automatically switch to offline maps. By default, it uses Wi-Fi or a cellular network to get the latest map data. However, you can toggle it to only use offline maps manually.

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First Published Date: 17 Aug, 16:08 IST