Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Apple's new 3D Maps app brings smart GPS to iOS

The iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch are receiving a new default Maps app directly from Apple itself.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Apple launches 3D maps on iOS 6
Watch this: Apple launches 3D maps on iOS 6

Apple is bringing both 3D and a huge dose of GPS to its new Maps app for iOS.

The iPhone maker revealed today at WWDC a new in-house 3D Maps app built entirely from the ground up. The 3D option isn't turned on by default but can easily be switched on by the user via a large button logically dubbed 3D.

The Flyover feature displays 3D, photographic maps that you can rotate with your fingers to get a true view of any location. Why Flyover? Search for a location or landmark, and the app flies you over there to bring you the bird's-eye view. But 3D is also available in satellite view, slightly higher than your average bird can fly.

And 3D isn't the only cool feature. The app is tapping into the GPS arena by helping drivers trying to navigate their way through traffic.

Besides offering turn-by-turn directions, the app includes a new traffic service that shows you the location of accidents, courtesy of crowd-sourcing, so you can try to avoid them.

The app also displays the ETA for your destination and will try to uncover a better route when you're stuck in traffic. It even works when your iPhone or iPad is at the lock screen.

And you don't have to take your eyes off the road, since the app works with Siri. You can tell your device where you want to go, and Siri will speak the directions to you and alert you to where you have to go next.

Overall, the new Maps app sounds like a win for iOS users, but GPS device makers aren't likely to be too happy with the competition.

Apple's WWDC 2012: iOS 6, Mountain Lion, and more (pictures)

See all photos