Apple rolls out all-new map, more accurate navigation across New Zealand

Apple Maps has been updated for New Zealand
Real-time traffic information, including current speed limits, will also be shown. Photo credit: Supplied / Apple

Apple Maps is getting a massive upgrade in Aotearoa from today, with more detailed road coverage and other features rolling out.

The new map, according to the tech giants, has faster and more accurate navigation; comprehensive views of roads, buildings, parks, and shopping centres; and three-dimensional landmarks of locations like the Beehive and Te Papa.

"We are excited to bring this experience to even more users with today's rollout in New Zealand," said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services.

"Maps has been rebuilt from the ground up, with better navigation, richer detail, more accurate information for places, and features that only Apple can deliver, like Look Around, Natural Language Guidance, and more.

"Now it is easier than ever for users to find the places they love and get to where they're going," he said.

The app doesn't need to be updated to access the new features - it should automatically be available the next time it's opened. It'll compete with the likes of Google Maps for the attention of Kiwis.

In addition to the new map, there are other features going live to help Kiwis explore the world.

Siri Natural Language Guidance offers more natural-sounding directions than the standard guidance, utilising landmarks to help users e.g. "At the next traffic light, turn left."

Real-time traffic information, including current speed limits, will also be shown, while speed camera icons let users know when approaching speed and red light cameras along a route, with the added ability to see where they are located on the map.

Users can also share an estimated time of arrival with family, friends, and coworkers with a simple tap or by asking Siri using Share ETA. The receiver can follow along on the journey, and Maps will update them with a revised estimate for when the traveller is arriving if a significant delay occurs.

Users can safely and easily report an accident, hazard, or speed check along their route by simply letting Siri know "There’s an accident up ahead" or "There is something on the road". 

Other updates include the Look Around feature, which has been available in some countries overseas since the launch of iOS 15.

That functionality offers interactive street-level imagery with high resolution, 3D photography, and smooth and seamless transitions across the country.

Users from anywhere in the world can navigate around New Zealand, including the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, Queen Street in Auckland and many more places. 

Step-by-step walking guidance in augmented reality has also been added for Auckland and Wellington.

With that, users can raise their iPhone to scan buildings and Maps will generate detailed directions based on those landmarks.

Apple says privacy is built into the app, with personalised features, such as suggesting departure time to make the next appointment, are created using on-device intelligence. 

"In addition, any data collected by Maps while using the app, including search terms, navigation routing, and traffic information, is associated with random identifiers that are regularly reset to prevent connecting search and location data stored on the server to a unique user," the company said.