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Maps in iOS 11: a reminder of the new features

iOS 11 has been around for a few months now, and you’re probably familiar with many of the new features. But improvements to Apple’s Maps app may have passed you by, especially if you tend to favor an alternative like Google Maps. Though it still lags behind in some areas, Apple Maps is much better than it once was and is now our preferred method for driving directions. Here, then, are three features worth exploring if you haven’t already.

Indoor maps

Maps now work inside! If it’s a fairly well-known place, of course – think shopping malls and airports.

To use the feature, simply search for a location in the Maps app. If it’s eligible a detailed floorplan will be available, though the number of locations set up for this feature are fairly limited. More locations will be added in time, but if you just want to explore, the Philadelphia International Airport and the Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose are both available!

This includes store details, boarding gates, check-in desks and more. Users can also search by floor, and look for bathrooms. Tapping on an item will bring up further details, which should make finding your way around huge maze-like structures a lot easier in future.

Lane navigation

It can be easy to end up in the wrong lane when using Maps, meaning you could miss your turning. But in iOS 11, Lane Guidance has been added.

This extra level of detail is clearly stated while navigating using arrows along the top of the screen. Follow the white arrows and you’ll have plenty of time to move into the correct lane before important turnings.

The feature is already present in many standalone GPS systems and Google Maps, but it’s a welcome addition and the extra clarity might continue to pull users back into the native Maps app.

Driving safety

In iOS 11 you can turn on Do Not Disturb While Driving so you don’t get distracted while operating your vehicle.

The feature can be set to turn on automatically when your device detects motion, or when it connects to a car’s Bluetooth system. Or, you can enable it manually.

When active, it will mute incoming calls, notifications, and messages. The screen will stay off too so you can keep your eyes on the road.

You can set an auto text-response to let people know you’re driving. However, if it’s an emergency, a person can follow up with “urgent” and your device will notify you. If the Bluetooth feature is active, phone calls will come through as you can answer them hands-free.

To turn on and customize the feature head to Settings, then Do Not Disturb. Press Do Not Disturb While Driving and you’ll be able to choose when you would like the feature to activate.

To enable it, ensure you’ve added Do Not Disturb While Driving to the customizable Control Center and then swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap the car icon.