Apple Maps gets a makeover

The competition between Apple Maps and Google Maps heats up.

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Queenie Wong
2 min read

The Apple Maps app includes more detail.

James Martin/CNET

Apple Maps  is getting a new look.

Apple on Monday unveiled a more detailed Maps app that the company said will roll out to US users by the end of 2019 and to more countries by 2020. The company also has added new features that make it easier for users to navigate to places they frequently visit, such as their home or work addresses. 

The announcement, which Apple made during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, shows how the tech giant is trying to compete with Google Maps and Waze apps. Apple said it drove 4 million miles to rebuild the maps in the app from the ground up. 

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A new 3D view on Apple Maps shows San Francisco Chinatown's Dragon's Gate.

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

Apple Maps lets you save addresses to a list of favorites that'll be displayed on the launch screen of the app. Users will also be able to create a collection of frequent places and add a photo to the list.

There's also a new "Look Around" feature displayed by binoculars that lets you see a 3D view of a place on a map. 

Apple in September 2012 released its own homegrown mapping program along with its iOS 6 operating system. It previously had preloaded Google Maps on its devices, but tensions between the companies led Apple to create its own software. The trouble was it didn't really work. iOS users immediately noticed problems with everything from navigation to a simple search for an address.

The fiasco caused Cook to issue a public apology and to fire iOS chief Scott Forstall , one of former CEO Steve Jobs ' top lieutenants. Cook at the time said Apple "fell short on this commitment," and he recommended alternative mapping programs until the company could fix the issues with Apple Maps.


The new Apple Maps app on the left shows where buildings are located and more exact addresses. 


Apple has come a long way with Maps, but some reviewers still say Google Maps is better.

Apple also announced updates to other apps, including Reminders. When you type out a reminder in the app, the app will know when and where to notify you. It'll also be easier to tag someone in a reminder.

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CNET's Shara Tibken contributed to this report.

Originally published June 3, 10:46 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:57 p.m. PT: Includes more details and when the revamped app will roll out to other countries. 

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