Apple showed off a new Maps app that will ship with iOS 6, Apple’s next-generation mobile operating system. Apple built the new Maps app from the ground up for the new version of iOS 6. It includes a new tile set and the oft-rumored 3D mode that we’ve heard so much about. The new app adds a lot of functionality that was missing before, finally bringing the iOS Maps app up to speed with Android’s Google Maps.
In iOS 6 iPhone and iPad users will finally have access to native turn-by-turn directions. The previous Maps app had directions, but users had to click through every step along the way, making it useless for drivers without passengers. The new version of Maps will talk to users, telling them where to go.
The new turn-by-turn directions are viewable on the iPhone’s lock screen. When the iPhone display is turned off, the lock screen will show the maps as a sort of live wallpaper, with the clock overlay displaying the next turn.
To go along with the new 3D maps feature, Apple is including a new feature called Flyover. Like turn-by-turn directions, Flyover is only available to iPhone 4S, the new iPad 2 and the new iPad (3rd generation). The feature lets users virtually fly over various cities to view them in 3D. It’s not a huge usability feature, but nice for virtually touring cities.
Apple built Siri into the new Maps app, so users simply need to tell Siri where they want to go. Siri will then open the Maps app with turn-by-turn directions to the destination.
The app will keep up with traffic as well. It will show the heavy traffic areas on the map and offer to reroute users around the heavy traffic.
Also included in the new app is Yelp integration. Users can find Yelp reviews for venues right from the app, making it easier to find great places to visit.