Apple finally steps up its Maps Game. With the update to the iOS 16’s lock screen, Apple Pay, and other features, the company also announced changes to Apple Maps. Liechtenstein is going to be among the first to benefit. Here is why.

The Apple Maps app was Apple’s answer to Google Maps, the widely known and used Maps app that provides directions, shows business locations, includes reviews, and more. Everyone knows Google Maps and most people use it, even if they have an iPhone. Why? Because Apple Maps hasn’t been competitive. With the new upgrades, that is supposed to change.

Liechtenstein among the first roll-outs

What’s interesting is that Liechtenstein will be among the first to receive the new features. Apple Maps is getting much more detailed mapping data for cities and countries. Those 3D Maps were tested in major Canadian cities in March, and Las Vegas was the first mapped American city. Apple also confirmed six more US locations, including Chicago and Miami.

The new counties that Apple is adding outside North America are Liechtenstein, Belgium, France, Israel, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland. Besides the improved mapping, these eleven countries will also get features like Look Around and bicycling navigation.

The first Apple Maps cars were spotted on Liechtenstein’s roads in August last year. There might be several reasons why Liechtenstein is on Apple’s list. First, the country is a digital frontrunner, meaning there is a high level of digital adoption and an accommodative legal framework. Second, the country is relatively small, so mapping won’t take much time.

What will be new?

One thing that will change is that the app now will include multistep routing – which has been possible in Google Maps for a long time. Also, there will be new transit information and more detailed maps in more countries and cities.

Multistop routing means users can create a route with up to 15 stops on the way to their final destination. That’s immensely helpful, say if someone plans a trip and wants to schedule some stops at gas stations or restaurants along the way. Apple Maps will enable users to create multistop routes directly on their iPhone or Mac and send them to the iPhone when the trip starts.

What’s also new is advanced transit features. The new Apple Maps version will show upcoming fares and how much they will cost. Users with a transit card saved in Apple Pay will receive alarms through Apple Maps if the remaining balance is low and needs additional funds.

Besides, the look and feel of the app will improve. Developers can use the MapKit API to integrate enhanced visuals in certain cities. There will also be high-resolution renders for homes on Zillow, and Bird will make bikes and scooters more easily discoverable.

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