Apple has added beautiful 3D details to Maps, but it still can’t get me out of this forest

Apple has added beautiful 3D details to Maps, but it still can’t get me out of this forest

Offline Maps Without a cellular signal or Wi-Fi, Apple Maps turns into a brick — you can’t search for locations, find routes, or do anything useful. This is, to put it lightly, a bit of a problem for a navigation app that’s been around for eight years. Imagine you used Apple Maps to navigate to somewhere that doesn’t have reliable cell service (like, say, many national parks), then want to go home. Apple Maps can get you through a dead zone, but if you’ll be staying a while, you won’t be able to use Apple Maps to get back.

Since Apple seems to be focusing a lot on Maps (it got stage time at last year’s keynote, too), perhaps they’re also taking requests? Here’s my wishlist. Don’t forget, you’re here forever. While leaving civilization and never coming back may appeal to some people (hello), it’s not the experience most are looking for. There are various ways to solve this — Apple could create a system where Maps caches the places you’ve recently traveled through, making at least basic routing available without an internet connection, or it could go full Google Maps and let you arbitrarily download massive parts of the map that will be available offline. There just needs to be some way to navigate your way out of a cellular dead zone should you find yourself in one.

Since Apple Maps will work offline if you’ve got navigation going, maybe there’s a workaround? Could you create a route that brings you to a place, but then also takes you back home? That’s very clever, but no, because Apple Maps doesn’t have… The ability to create multi-stop routes

The ability to create routes with more than one destination is, admittedly, more useful while you’re planning a trip than while you’re actually traveling, but it can still save you the hassle of having to choose a new destination every time you arrive somewhere. Apple Maps, however, doesn’t have this ability — you can do point-to-point travel, and that’s it. As far as I (and people on Apple’s forums and Reddit) can tell, you can’t even do multiple stops in the desktop Apple Maps, which would at least help with planning. Meanwhile, in Google Maps land… But wait, isn’t there an Add Stop button in Apple Maps? Indeed, there is, but I regret to tell you that it’s not for creating multi-stop routes — it’s for adding a brief detour. And, to add insult to injury, it’s almost useless for what it’s actually designed to do. The Add Stop button brings nothing but frustration. In my two years using Apple Maps, I’ve never successfully used it.

The ability to actually choose a stop along your route The Add Stop button lets you find a temporary pit stop along your route, so you can take a break from driving to get food, gas, or whatever. The problem is that it’s extremely limited in this capability — it only lets you choose from a few predetermined categories and will only show you a few from each one. It does provide a quick and easy interface for use while driving, but if you want to do something specific, you’ll be in for a rough time. Tapping on Restaurants (currently labeled “Breakfast” because it’s morning) will give you a list of 10 places that are nearby.

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