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MacOS 11 Big Sur includes redesign for Maps and brings big new features



Excerpt from Apple Presentation on macOS big sur maps app

Use these updates to explore and plan your next adventure

During the WWDC virtual event, Apple previewed the latest version of its upcoming desktop operating system – macOS Big Sur.  There are so many new features, it is easy to get lost in all the detail. One highlight that stands out is the updated version of the Maps app.  MacOS Big Sur is set for release next month for fall, there is, however a developer beta version currently available for download if you want a sneak peek before the official release date. Since this is beta (beta 4) and meant for developers, it is best only to download and test on a machine that you do not depend on as bugs are to be expected until the final official release (at least).

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We have tested this and compiled features from what information Apple has released so far. The completely redesigned version of the app makes it even easier to find your navigation essentials.  The new interface will be a more streamlined experience including: “Favorites” like home or work , “My Guides” where you can plan a trip or save places of interest you want to one day visit, and will also save your “Recent Places.” 

Another new feature on the Mac is the ability to see the ETA from friends or family members that shared their routes with you. In this sort of hybrid with the features of “find friends”, now within maps, you will be able to see the current location of friends who have shared a route, and then you can monitor the progress as they journey towards their destinations.  

The Maps app in Big Sur will also include all the newest features of Maps that will be included in the newest iPhone update iOS14 as well which will include: Guide, Cycling and EV routing.

Plan a trip with travel recommendations via Guides

Maps will offer all new tools and features that will elevate travel and planning your next exploration of the world.  Through Guides, you can discover new places as well as events and activities to participate using trusted sources.

Apple is said to be working with top companies like Lonely Planet, Zagat, and AllTrails to give you the best information. You can also customize your trip with all the places you want to visit (ex: shops, restaurants, parks, historical landmarks, etc) and share with your family and friends.   To start, Guides will be available for cities including San Francisco, New York, London and Los Angeles, with plans to expand many more cities options.

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The new Maps will make more countries available to view that will include Canada, Ireland and the UK. Then using the “Look Around” feature will allow you a 360-degree view of a destination (which is extremely cool on the big screen of your Mac). You can scroll through streets and get closer to a realistic taste of what to expect; giving rich detail of roads, buildings, parks, beaches and much more.

Apple will also make navigating within airports and shopping centers a little less stressful with detailed views of its indoor maps.

Useful new features for bike riders and EV excursions

Need to get to a destination and you want to take your bicycle? No problem. Your cycling trips can now be routed from your Mac and then sent directly to your iPhone when you are on the go. Maps will provide routes for cyclists to find bike lanes, paths or bike-friendly roadways to reach your desired location. There will also be the ability to preview the elevation of the roads and have the option to avoid routes that have steep inclines or stairs that will make for an easier and smoother ride

Apple will also be utilizing EV routing for those that want to plan a trip using their electric vehicles. EV routing will help take into account your electric vehicle’s route (highlighting weather, elevation and locations of charging stations). When you add your electric vehicle to your iPhone, the Maps app will keep track of your EV’s current charge level.

Photo / Apple Maps for Cycling

Since there are so many features coming in macOS 11 Big Sur and many of those will now be even more integrated with the carious iOS, iPad OS, watch OS and so forth, it’s a great idea to keep tuned in as we will continue to produce updates on all the features, tips and tricks for all your Apple devices.

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