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Expanding ‘Look Around’ mode – Apple Maps embraces NY and LA

Apple Maps’ new “Look Around” feature has barely been live a month, but already it’s improving.

What started in just San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Honolulu has expanded to cover the two most populous cities in the US.

Open up Maps in iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 and you’ll now be able to explore both New York and Los Angeles in full 3D, as if you were wandering the streets yourself.

To check out the feature, navigate to any of the featured cities and pinch to zoom in. When you get close enough, you’ll see the Look Around button appear on screen. (Its icon is a pair of binoculars.)

Tap that button and an overlay will appear atop the map view, showing your currently selected location from street level with an astonishing level of detail.

From here, you can drag the binoculars around the map to drop yourself onto a different street, or hit the expand button on the overlay to fill the display with the Look Around view to really get a good look at your surroundings.

In this mode, you can swipe to look around, pinch to zoom and even tap further down the road to move there. The experience is incredibly well implemented – for our money, it’s more detailed and easier to navigate than Google Maps’ similar Street View feature. Though of course, Google’s been capturing this kind of footage for years and years, so its coverage is far superior to Apple’s.

That said, if you live in – or plan to visit – any of the supported cities, Look Around you is marvellous. We hope it won’t take Apple long to expand it even further.