Apple has announced at this year’s WWDC that the company’s adding a long-awaited feature to its default Maps app when iOS 14 drops: cycling directions. But Apple is only launching in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Beijing, and it didn’t immediately say when it will expand into other parts of the world.
Users will be able to see elevation changes, and Apple Maps will even suggest if people should take a flight of stairs to save time or allow them to route around steep hills. Cycling directions will be available in watchOS 7, too.
The company announced that Maps in iOS 14 will get a new “EV routing” feature, too, making it possible for users to plan trips around where and when they’ll need to charge their electric vehicles. The company previously only allowed users to route to or from certain chargers in Maps, but now it will be able to include or add chargers to a trip, even on the fly. Apple says Maps will be able to “track your current vehicle charge and factor in things like elevation to automatically add charging stops along the way,” and that it will only route to compatible chargers. Of course, to get that deeply integrated means the company needs cooperation from automakers, and so Apple said it’s only working with Ford and BMW to start.
The new Maps will also have a new “Guides” feature that will present interesting places that have been curated by what Apple refers to as “trusted resources,” which include AllTrails, Complex, The Infatuation, Time Out Group, and The Washington Post.
These are features that have long been available in other places like Google Maps or in electric vehicles themselves — Teslas, especially. But of course, that seems to be the theme of this year’s WWDC. Apple is adding a lot of features to iOS 14 that users have spent years waiting for, or that can already be found on Android, or both.
Lastly, when macOS Big Sur arrives, Maps will get an upgrade on the desktop that will catch it up to its iOS counterpart. The refreshed app will feature guides (both curated and custom), Apple’s “Look Around” feature (which is like Google’s Street View), and indoor maps for airports and shopping centers. Maps on the desktop will also get cycling directions and EV routing, and Apple says users will be able to easily send those trips from the desktop to their iPhones and Apple Watches.