Apple Maps app in iOS 11 has received a mind-blowing AR/VR 3D view. The company has added this feature into the Flyover feature of the Maps app and kindly feels like a combination of Street View on ground view and Google Earth’s top-down view. The simplest explanation for this feature is that the user becomes a kind of Batman roaming over the New York City giving you an awesome view of the surroundings.
While this impressive new feature in built upon the ARKit, the fact is it’s not actually AR as the maps are not projected on a real life object with the help of a camera. It is not Virtual Reality because you are not inside an immersive virtual world. Rather, it is an extension to the Apple Maps’ existing feature called 3D view of the cities.
So.. Apple put an awesome VR mode in Apple Maps (powered by ARKit) and didn’t even talk about it in the Keynote ? Wow pic.twitter.com/2ZBBXj4NYM
— Felix Lapalme (@lap_felix) June 27, 2017
Using the ARKit technology, the Apple Maps app in iOS 11 is now capable of moving the map according to the movement of your devices. The Maps app is using the same technology that iOS uses to track your movement. It means when you move around the world, you also move around on the map as well.
You simply become a floating object in the maps. Hold the device at your eye level and you’ll be having a top view of the buildings. Bringing the device to the bottom will give you the street view. You can navigate inside the map with the help of swiping and pinch to zoom. To have a look around, you’ll have to physically move your device.
Holy Flyover Magic Window batman. pic.twitter.com/Fb8nPeLT5J
— Paul Haddad (@tapbot_paul) June 22, 2017
While this new feature seems super awesome, the reality is the Apple Maps is not the best maps app available to the world. The app still lacks direction in some territories. That being said, the Flyover feature of Apple maps make it a fun app to fly around the city you have never been to. in some cities, including New York City, the mapping details are a delight.
How to use Apple Maps ARKit based Flyover mode
- Make sure your device is running iOS 11 beta 2 or a newer version.
- Open the Apple Maps app.
- Make sure you’re in Satellite mode and that the 3D view is active.
- Search for a city that supports Apple Map’s Flyover feature such as New York or San Francisco.
- Now tap on Flyover.
- That’s it! you should now be in AR mode inside the Maps app. Tap on the Start Tour to see an automatic tour of the city’s main points of interest.
The Apple maps app only scratches the surface of what ARKit has to offer. With the official launch of iOS 11 to the masses, we’ll get exciting new fully featured AR apps.
Are you looking forward to the AR apps? What kind of apps you’d want to see? Let us know in the comments section below.