Apple Adds AR Navigation to Maps

Rory Greener

Apple's Continued AR Support Prevents Users from Getting Lost

Apple Insights
Apple Adds AR Navigation to Maps

Apple’s iOS 15 update will include many new features such as augmented reality (AR) support for Apple Maps, the US tech giant announced at the 2021 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week.

IOS 15 provides new features and revisions to various aspects of Apple’s operating system, and there are a wealth of added features that continue to elevate the Cupertino-based tech firm above competitors. 

The update contains many functionality and quality-of-life improvements, including social features and spatial audio support added to FaceTime, as well as a new Live Text system, which lets users translate seven different languages or look up text in real-time through an iPhone camera.

The update also adds new features to Apple Maps, including vibrant 3D visualisations of landmarks and roads, a new night mode which adds a ‘moonlit glow’ to visualisations, as well as various under-the-hood improvements such as more precise elevation data and labels. 

Apple Maps’ new AR features will give iPhone users the power to access AR navigation support.  

To activate AR navigational support, users can scan buildings with the iPhone’s Lidar sensor to get more accurate directions. The app also visualises additional detailed directional support in 3D AR space via large arrows and street names to guide the user.

Apple and Mobile AR in the Future  

Mobile AR is becoming incredibly popular among applications, namely with social media apps such as Snapchat. 

Google has released similar AR navigation functions on its Maps service, where users can scan surrounding shops signs and buildings to activate AR navigation. 

Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive Officer, has reaffirmed his support for AR, stating it was “a critically important part of Apple’s future.” 

The iOS 15 update comes after Apple filed a patent for a head-mountable device, allowing for improved facial biometrics via the Clips 3.1 update, which adds AR spaces and improved AR integration.  

Apple Maps will include the AR additions in the iOS 15 update set for release in September, but iPhone users can install the beta version now to get their hands on all the new features.

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