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Apple Maps tips and tricks: 14 useful things to get the most out of maps

, Deputy editor · ·
Analysis Interpretation of the news based on evidence, including data; projecting how events might unfold based on past events or how products and services compare against each other.

(Pocket-lint) - Apple Maps has come a long way since it first launched in 2012. With a decade under its belt, and some big improvements over the years, there's now definitely an argument for Apple users to opt for Apple Maps over an alternative like Google Maps given the integration with the rest of Apple's ecosystem.

There are also some great tips and tricks within Apple Maps that will help you get the most out of it. Here are 14 of our favourites.


Apple Maps has a feature within it called Guides. For example, you might be planning a day trip to London and you want to make sure you visit a number of places, whether a landmark, bar, restaurant or park.

You can create your own Guide within Apple Maps to help you organise your trip. 

Search for a place > Swipe up from the card at the bottom > Tap on the Guide button > New Guide > Name your Guide > Create.

Once you have created your Guide, you can continue to search for other places and add them to your Guide by swiping up from the bottom, tapping the Guide button and selecting your Guide from the list.

Tapping on your created Guide will allow you to see a list of places you have put into it, and some useful information about each place, like opening times. You can also sort by Date Added, Name and Distance.

If you want to view or edit your Guide, swipe up from the bottom of the search bar in Apple Maps, and scroll until you reach My Guides. Tap on your Guide and tap on Edit in the bottom left corner. It's also possible to share your Guide from here, with anyone that has the Guide link being able to see its contents.


If you don't want to create your own Guide, Apple Maps also has curated ones that are created by a range of different outlets, like Lonely Planet, Culture Whisper and TimeOut, to name but a few.

To see the curated Guides, swipe up from the search bar at the bottom of your screen and scroll until you get to Guides We Love. You can then scroll through the Guides picked by Apple, or you can tap on Explore Guides and filter by the various categories, like Food and Drink, Things to Do and Nightlife. 

Once you select a Guide to look at, you can press the "+" next to each place to add it to a new guide or an existing guide you have already started.


Apple Maps has a feature called Look Around that works in a similar way to Street View in Google Maps.

Whenever you see the binocular icon in the bottom left corner of a map, you can tap on it to get a pop up appear on top of the map that allows you to see what the location actually looks like in real life. 

The pop up only covers the top half of your screen by default, but if you tap on the arrows in the top left corner of the pop up, it will expand to your entire screen. You can also move your finger on the pop up to, well, look around.


Apple Maps allows you to share your ETA so it's easy for someone you are meeting to get real time updates on what time you'll be arriving. They can't track your position, but they will get updates if you're not on schedule.

To share your ETA, start the directions to the place you are going to and press go. At the bottom of your screen, you'll see your time of arrival, the time the journey will take you and the number of miles or kilometres. 

There's a grey arrow on the right hand side of this information, tap this to expand the menu and then tap on Share ETA. The person you want to share your ETA with might be in the list of contacts, if not, tap on Open Contacts and select the person you want to share your ETA with from the list.


There's a very cool feature on Apple Maps called Flyover, which essentially allows you to view certain cities from above in 3D and either take a tour or move around yourself, which you can do by moving your phone or using your fingers.

Search for the city you want to do a "flyover" of and tap on Search. Next to the Directions button, you'll see the Flyover button if the feature is available for that city. 

Tap on the Flyover button and then either tap on "Start Tour" or move your phone or finger around to have a look around.


If you're listening to a podcast or an audiobook and you don't want spoken directions from Apple Maps to disturb them, you can change the settings so they don't and your new favourite podcast or book doesn't get interrupted when you have to take the next left.

Open Settings on your iPhone > Scroll down to Maps > Scroll down to Spoken Directions > Toggle off Directions Pause Podcasts.


Apple Maps will remember when you parked your car so you don't have to. It's great for the times where you might have had to drive down an extra street to park that you don't know as well, or when you're in an area you don't know at all for example.

A connection to your car's Bluetooth or CarPlay stereo is required for this feature to work but as long as you have that and your location can be determined when parking, your parked car location will be shown on the map afterwards.

Open Settings > Scroll down to Apple Maps > Scroll down to Show Parked Location and toggle it on. You'll also need to make sure location services are turned on for your device, and Significant Locations are turned on in System Services.


Ever started directions to somewhere and realised you need to petrol, or you want to stop for a coffee on route?

Apple Maps allows you to add a stop to your current directions without having to start over. Tap on the grey arrow at the bottom of your screen when you have started directions and tap on 'Add a Stop'. 

You can then choose from Dinner, Petrol Stations, Coffee, Parking, Corner Shops and Banks. Tapping on any of the categories will give you a list of options, where you can select on and press "Go" to add it to your journey.


It can be a little confusing to figure out where you are when you first start directions from Apple Maps, especially when you are using the app for walking directions. 

You can scan the buildings around you though to get a better idea of where you are and which direction you should be heading. 

Start your directions as normal and when you're in the direction mode, you'll see a hexagon shape appear in a circle on the right edge of the screen beneath the mute button. 

Tapping on this will allow you to scan the buildings across the street to help you better define your location. It needs good lighting and it won't work for all routes, but it's worth a try if you are a bit confused.


If the buildings mode in the tip above isn't available for your route, there is also a compass mode. When the compass mode is on, your phone will become a compass and the map will rotate based on your phone's position. 

To turn on Compass Mode, start your directions as normal and then tap on the icon with the wiggly line on the right edge of your screen. You then need to move your phone around and you should be able to figure out which direction you need to start moving in.


This is a great tip, though at the moment there aren't loads of third party apps that are compatible with this feature of Apple Maps.

There are two categories of extensions that will work within Apple Maps, when enabled. These include Ride Booking and Restaurant Booking. For Ride Booking, you can choose to toggle on apps like Uber so they will show up when you are looking for directions for example and allow you to book a ride directly through Apple Maps, rather than having to switch between Apple Maps and Uber.

For restaurant bookings, a similar principal applies, where you can toggle on compatible apps like OpenTable to show available tables of restaurants you have viewed in Maps. 

To toggle on third party extensions, open Settings > Tap on Apple Maps > Scroll down to Extensions. Tapping on Ride Booking will then show you compatible apps in this category you have downloaded on your device you can toggle on individually, while Restaurant Booking will do the same for this category.


If you don't want to be disturbed with notifications when you are driving, you can set Apple Maps to automatically turn on Do Not Disturb mode when it senses you are on the road using the Driving Focus.

Notifications will still come through to your device, but you won't see them until you stop if you have this feature switched on. Open Control Centre on your device and tap on the Focus tile.

If you tap on the "+" at the bottom of your screen, you can then select the Driving focus from the list. Tap on Next and set your preferences. You can choose to allow calls and notifications from certain contacts or choose to Allow None. The next time you start driving, notifications will be silenced automatically until you stop from anyone not on your list.


You can change the different views on Apple Maps with just two fingers. Swiping up or down with two fingers will change the view between 2D and 3D.

To zoom in on Apple Maps, tap the screen with two fingers and move them apart from each other. To zoom out, tap the screen with two fingers and move them closer together.

You can also move the map around by tapping with two fingers and moving them around in a circle.


Apple Maps offers inside maps of some places, such as airports and shopping centres, helping you navigate around.

Say for example you are in London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, you can use Apple Maps to find the toilets, check in desks, gates, shops and restaurants. On the right edge of your screen, you can select different levels and if you swipe up from the card at the bottom, you can filter by the different things you might be looking for, like toilets or restaurants. 

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.