How To Use The Apple Maps App (2023)

With an iPhone in your pocket, you can get directions to almost anywhere in 75 countries. Every iPhone comes with AssistedGPSand the Apple Maps app. Whether you need driving directions, need a bus, are lost in an airport or mall, or want a 3D view of a city, Apple Maps delivers. Here’s how to use its most important and powerful features.

Get Turn-by-Turn Directions With Apple Maps

The Maps app is used mostly for turn-by-turn directions. Because the Maps app takes into account traffic conditions, tolls, and other data, and because it speaks to you while you drive and tells you which turns and exits to take, it’s a great co-pilot. Here’s how to use it:

Information in this article applies to iPhones with iOS 10 and later.

  • Tap the Maps app to launch it.
  • Tap SearchMaps and enter a destination. It can be a street address, city, a person’s name if their address is in your iPhone Contactsapp, or a business, such as a movie theater or restaurant.
  • Tap a location under Favorites to get directions to a frequently accessed location.
  • A pin or icon drops onto the map representing your destination. Tap Directions to see available routes and how long it will take to get there, then tap Go to choose a route and launch turn-by-turn directions.
  • To change your travel mode from the default car, tap the Walk, Transit, or Cycle icon.
  • The suggested routes and travel times change depending on the method of travel and what modes are available.
  • Tap the Rideshare icon to get available Uber or Lyft information. Tap Next and Request Connect to request a pickup and confirm a pickup location.
  • During your trip, tap Add Stop to add a stop to your route. Tap Share ETA to send someone your estimated time of arrival. Tap Details to see specific details of your route.
  • Tap Report to report an accident, hazard, or speed check.
  • As of the iOS 14.5 release, if you’re in the U.S. or China, you can use Siri to report an incident. Say something like, “There’s a crash ahead,” or “Something is blocking the road” to send in a report.
  • Tap Audio to bring up an audio control and volume screen. Tap End when you’ve arrived at your destination, or at any time you want to end your route.

Tips When Using Turn-by-Turn Directions

The basics of using Apple Maps for directions are straightforward, but there’s more going on in the app. Hereare a few tips you may find helpful.

Tap the Maps app to launch it.

Tap SearchMaps and enter a destination. It can be a street address, city, a person’s name if their address is in your iPhone Contactsapp, or a business, such as a movie theater or restaurant.

Tap a location under Favorites to get directions to a frequently accessed location.

A pin or icon drops onto the map representing your destination. Tap Directions to see available routes and how long it will take to get there, then tap Go to choose a route and launch turn-by-turn directions.

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To change your travel mode from the default car, tap the Walk, Transit, or Cycle icon.

The suggested routes and travel times change depending on the method of travel and what modes are available.

Tap the Rideshare icon to get available Uber or Lyft information. Tap Next and Request Connect to request a pickup and confirm a pickup location.

During your trip, tap Add Stop to add a stop to your route. Tap Share ETA to send someone your estimated time of arrival. Tap Details to see specific details of your route.

Tap Report to report an accident, hazard, or speed check.

As of the iOS 14.5 release, if you’re in the U.S. or China, you can use Siri to report an incident. Say something like, “There’s a crash ahead,” or “Something is blocking the road” to send in a report.

Tap Audio to bring up an audio control and volume screen. Tap End when you’ve arrived at your destination, or at any time you want to end your route.

The Maps app can tell you which lane you should be in using a feature called Lane Guidance. With natural-sounding directions, your turn-by-turn instructions will include helpful guidance such as, “Stay in the left lane,” or “Stay in the first or second lane from the right.”

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View or print a list of the directions rather than having them spoken to you. On the screen where the Go button is, before you start turn-by-turn directions, tap the time estimate. You won’t get location-aware directions this way, so there’s no rerouting if you miss a turn, but your phone won’t tell you what to do.

The app displays local speed limits for a route, where available.

You receive better directions and arrival-time estimates if you add real-time traffic data to Maps to identify and potentially route around accidents, road work, and other delays. To view traffic information, tap the i icon in the upper-right corner and move the Traffic toggle switch to On/green.

If you’re on a trip and need gas, a meal, or a bathroom, Apple Maps can help. The map contains small icons for things like restaurants,gas stations, pharmacies, and hospitals. Tap these icons for more information about the location and update your directions to take you there.

Favorite Locations

Want to make it easy to get to work, home, a friend’s house, or your favorite coffee shop no matter where you are? Favorite those locations. To do that, search for the location, swipe up on the search details, and tap Add to Favorites. If you change your mind, tap Remove From Favorites.

Nearby

The Nearby feature shows categories of nearby businesses, such as restaurants, gas stations, and many more. Tap a category for a list of nearby destinations. The Nearby categories appear when you tap the search bar from the Maps home screen, then scroll down.

You’ll find your list of Favorites at the bottom of the swipe-up search panel on the home screen of Maps.

Avoid Tolls or Highways

Want your driving directions to avoid roads with tolls or highways? Type your location into the search bar, tap Directions, then swipe down to the Avoid section and toggle on Tolls, Highways, or both. You’ll be given new routes that meet your specifications.

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Print Directions

Want to print out a list of directions to your destination? From the Go screen, tap the time to see the full list of directions for your route. Swipe to the bottom of the list and tap Share. TapPrintto send the directionsto a connected printer.

Parked Location

Want Maps to locate your car in mall or airport parking lots? Your iPhone must be paired via Bluetooth with your car stereo or CarPlay unit. Tap Settings > Maps, then move the Show Parked Location toggle switch to on.

Transit Directions, Ride Sharing, and Walking Directions

Driving isn’t the only way to get around, and Maps can help you navigate via mass transit, ride-sharing service, and on foot.

Use Maps to share your current location on the iPhone or iPad with friends and family to make it easy for them to meet up with you.

Open the Maps app and select a destination. Then, on the directions screen, tap Transit, Ride, or Walk.

  • TapTransit to show options using bus, subway, light rail, ferry, and other methodsto get to your destination, if your local mass transit system has been mapped by Apple(see the full list here). Pick your preferred choice and tap Go.
  • Tap Ride if you are in an area that supports ride-sharing apps such as Lyft or Uber installed on your iPhone. Your installed ride-sharing app opens, and its estimated price appears. Tap Next for the one you want to use.
  • Tap Walk for a list of streets and roads to walk. Using an Apple Watch with Maps is helpful when you are walking because the Watch vibrates to let you know when to turn. If any of the roads you have to walk are unpaved, Maps provides a warning. Tap Go to start your walk.

Indoor Mapping

Finding your way to the right shop, restaurant, or bathroom in a large indoor space like an airport or mall can be a challenge. If you’ve ever been lost in that situation, you may have wished for turn-by-turn directions like you have in your car. For some locations, Apple Maps has these directions.

Apple has full lists of locations with indoor maps here:

  • List of Indoor Maps for Airports
  • List of Indoor Maps for Malls.

To use indoor maps, search for an airport or mall. If you’re inside the location, open the Maps app. Use the Nearby icons—Food, Drinks, Shops, and for airports, Terminals, Gates, and more—to browse lists of options. Tap the place you want to go, and the Maps app provides directions to it.

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As with other maps, zoom in and out to see more detail. Browse by floor, terminal (in airports), parking levels, arrival and departure levels (at airports), and more.

Augmented Reality Flyover Cities

Getting driving directions isn’t the only way to explore a city. Use the Maps app to enjoy augmented reality, 3D flyovers in hundreds of cities worldwide. These flyovers show you the city as if you are taking a helicopter tour through the streets and between the buildings.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • In Maps, search for a city.
  • If the feature is available, the results page includes a Flyover button. Tap it.
  • Move your iPhone left and right, up and down to see different parts of the city in 3D. Pinch the screen to zoom in on locations. Swipe left, right, up, and down to move through the city.
  • To take a helicopter-style tour, tap Start City Tour.
  • Tap X to close the flyover feature and return to the standard Maps experience.

Do Not Disturb While Driving

Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents. Apple included a feature in iOS 11 and later to help users focus on the road and cut down on driving risks. Do Not Disturb While Driving blocks calls and texts while you drive and sends automatic responses so that you can keep your eyes on the road.

In Maps, search for a city.

If the feature is available, the results page includes a Flyover button. Tap it.

Move your iPhone left and right, up and down to see different parts of the city in 3D. Pinch the screen to zoom in on locations. Swipe left, right, up, and down to move through the city.

To take a helicopter-style tour, tap Start City Tour.

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Tap X to close the flyover feature and return to the standard Maps experience.

Do Not Disturb While Driving isn’t a part of Apple Maps, but it’s a good idea to learn how to use it.

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FAQs

How do I improve Apple map accuracy? ›

Improve GPS accuracy

Locating all visible satellites can take several minutes, with accuracy gradually increasing over time. To improve GPS accuracy: Make sure that you've set the date, time, and time zone correctly on the device in Settings > General > Date & Time. If possible, use Set Automatically.

How do I manipulate Apple Maps? ›

Move, zoom, or rotate a map or 3D globe

Move around in a map: Drag the map. Zoom in or out: Double-tap (leaving your finger on the screen after the second tap), then drag up to zoom in or drag down to zoom out.

Is Apple Maps good enough? ›

Once again both services are about on par with each other. Both Apple Maps and Google Maps will give you accurate public transport information and reasonably similar routes if you're looking to walk or cycle between locations.

Is Apple Maps more accurate than Google Maps? ›

Both Google Maps and Apple Maps are highly accurate. You should have no problem getting from point A to point B with either app. Both are great at identifying traffic, making time estimates and flagging road closures. Google has a slight edge when it comes to the accuracy of business information.

Can you trick Apple Maps? ›

There isn't a “fake GPS location” setting built in to either iOS or Android, and neither do most apps let you spoof your location through a simple option.

Can Maps be manipulated? ›

Today, maps are manipulated in ways we don't always immediately recognise. Real-time access to satellite imagery allows us snapshots of the earth previously unseen, but data manipulation and technology still distort our view.

Is Waze better than Apple map? ›

Bar none, Waze offers the clearest overall map in terms of visual contrast and readability. Unfortunately, it's only for drivers. Apple places right behind Waze with a map that's good for at-a-glance information.

What is the difference between Apple and Google maps? ›

Apple Maps is exclusive to Apple hardware — iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. It's built into all Apple-branded devices, even Macs. It's not available on devices outside the Apple ecosystem. Google Maps is a cross-platform service, made available on Android, iOS, iPadOS, web browsers, and so on.

What is the purpose of Apple Maps? ›

Apple Maps is a web mapping service developed by Apple Inc. The default map system of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS, it provides directions and estimated times of arrival for driving, walking, cycling, and public transportation navigation.

Is there a difference between Google Maps and Apple Maps? ›

Apple Maps lets you save your work and home addresses as well, among other locations. It makes it faster to generate directions for places you go to regularly, but it requires a few extra steps that Google Maps' Commute skips out. Google also has the advantage of all that extra historical and real-time data.

What percent of people use Apple Maps? ›

The majority of smartphone owners use navigation apps and most prefer Google Maps, according to new survey data from The Manifest. It has 67% of the market compared to 12% for Waze, 11% for Apple Maps, and 8% for MapQuest.

Why did Apple get rid of Google Maps? ›

One key reason for Apple dumping Google Maps is that Apple wanted turn-by-turn directions and for obvious reasons, Google did not want to license this feature to Apple because it gave them a competitive advantage over Apple.

Does Apple Maps have real time traffic? ›

The moment you select Driving or Satellite maps, you will start seeing local traffic conditions. Orange color on the road means slowdowns and red means heavy/stop-and-go traffic.

Does Apple Maps predict traffic? ›

Yes Apple have. Both Google Maps and Apple Maps have access to real-time traffic data, and can let you know if you're going to face any problems along your route. Waze only provides routes for cars, motorcycles, and taxis. And like Apple Maps, you can add just one pit stop.

Can you manipulate iPhone location? ›

You can change your location on your iPhone's settings and in your App Store settings. Just download a reliable VPN, connect to a server in your preferred location, and it will bypass those restrictions.

How do I fake my location? ›

Go to Settings > About Phone and tap “Build Number” repeatedly until a message says “You are now a developer!” After that, go to Settings > System > Developer Options or Settings > Developer Options on Samsung devices. Scroll all the way down to “Select Mock Location App.” Select “Fake GPS” from the list.

How do you cheat while sharing your location? ›

Faking GPS Location on Android Smartphones

Go to the Google's Play store, then download and install the app named Fake GPS Location – GPS Joystick. Launch the app and scroll down to the section titled Select an option to get started. Tap the Set Location option. Tap the Click here to open the map option.

Can Apple Maps be wrong? ›

Unfortunately, the app may sometimes give you wrong directions. This can actually be a major problem, especially if you're driving in a new city and you're not familiar with the streets. Let's explore what you can do if Apple Maps gives you inaccurate directions.

Are maps 100% accurate? ›

The short answer: absolutely not. Thanks to the varying distances between latitude lines away from the equator, the map pretty severely distorts surrounding landmasses.

Does anyone use Apple Maps? ›

Apple, meanwhile, told us as recently as December 2020 that Apple Maps has “hundreds of millions” of users. From this, we can infer that Apple Maps has at least 200 million users and at most around 900–950 million users.

What is better than Apple Maps? ›

There are more than 100 alternatives to Apple Maps for a variety of platforms, including Android, iPhone, Online / Web-based, Android Tablet and iPad. The best alternative is OpenStreetMap, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like Apple Maps are Google Maps, OsmAnd, Organic Maps and Waze.

Why is my Apple Maps location not accurate? ›

Causes of iPhone GPS Not Working. Some settings on the iPhone intentionally prevent GPS from working. Other causes for GPS not working are a weak signal, outdated maps data, or hardware failure. Although iPhone GPS issues are not common, they can occur after you update the iOS.

How do I fix my location accuracy on my iPhone? ›

In the Settings app, tap Privacy, then tap Location Services. Make sure Location Services is on, and make sure Maps is set to While Using the App or Widgets. Set the date, time, and time zone correctly on your device.

Why does my location say I'm somewhere I'm not? ›

Android typically uses the Network Location permission to locate your phone's present location. If you are connected via your home's Wi-Fi then the location permission is not always able to pinpoint your location other than the general area such as town. It could be a nearby town as well.

Can Apple location be wrong sometimes? ›

Location is determined by a number of factors, one of which is Cell tower triangulation. Depending on landscape, building materials, etc. the triangulation may not be entirely accurate and can sometimes be off by many miles. Another factor is proximity to known WiFi networks.

Why is my Apple Maps all messed up? ›

If Apple Maps isn't working, you probably need a stronger internet connection. Even if you have an internet connection, Apple Maps also needs a strong GPS signal, which isn't always easy to get. Apple Maps also needs Location Access permission, which you can manage in the Settings app.

Is the iPhone compass accurate? ›

Important: The accuracy of the compass can be affected by magnetic or environmental interference; even the magnets in the iPhone EarPods can cause a deviation. Use the digital compass only for basic navigation assistance. Don't rely on it to determine precise location, proximity, distance, or direction.

Why does my iPhone think I'm somewhere else? ›

A significant number of users reported GPS issues when iOS 16 dropped. If your iPhone thinks you're in somewhere but you actually not, most likely there is something wrong about Location Services. Now, one quick way to fix this issue is by toggling on your iPhone's Location Services if the location service is disabled.

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