Apple Maps Gets Offline Mode, EV Charging Stations, and More in iOS 17

Apple has introduced new features for its Maps app in iOS 17, the latest version of its mobile operating system. The changes include offline mode, real-time charging station availability, interface update, and voice volume control. Here is everything you need to know about the new features in Maps in iOS 17.

Offline Mode

One of the most requested features for Apple Maps is the ability to download maps and use them offline. This is useful when there is no cellular or WiFi connection, or when you want to save data and battery. With iOS 17, you can now save a specific area of a map to your device, allowing it to be accessed while offline.

Apple Maps Gets Offline Mode, EV Charging Stations, and More in iOS 17
Apple Maps Gets Offline Mode, EV Charging Stations, and More in iOS 17

Saving a map retains all information like business hours and ratings, plus it allows for turn-by-turn directions, so the Maps app basically works like it does when it has a connection, with the exception of real-time traffic information. You can search for any location in the Maps app or set a pin and then choose the “Download” option to get an offline map.

Tapping on the download button brings up a drag and drop interface where you can select how much of the map you want to download. Apple allows for downloads of full cities and surrounding areas, so you can, for example, download a map of Los Angeles that includes the area all the way up to Bakersfield and down to San Diego. Apple lists the size of each downloaded map, with size depending on the area you’ve selected and what’s in that area. A small selection may only be 200MB, but a larger area that has a lot of roads and businesses could be 3GB or more.

Real-Time Charging Station Availability

Another new feature in Apple Maps is the ability to see real-time charging station availability along Maps routes for electric vehicle owners. Users can choose a preferred charging station to see only those compatible with their vehicle. This feature is similar to what Google Maps offers for EV drivers.

Apple Maps also integrates with your vehicle’s battery level and range, so it can automatically add charging stops along your route if needed. You can also filter charging stations by type, such as fast or slow, and by provider, such as Tesla or ChargePoint.

Interface Update

Apple has also updated the interface of the Maps app when you’re getting turn-by-turn directions. The Maps app now shows tappable icons for driving, walking, transit, and other options rather than a dropdown menu. The arrival time and avoidance preferences options are still in the same dropdown menu as they were in iOS 16.

The new interface also shows more details on the map, such as lane guidance, speed limits, traffic lights, crosswalks, and landmarks. You can also zoom in and out with one finger by double-tapping and dragging on the screen.

Voice Volume Control

The last new feature in Apple Maps is the ability to adjust the volume of the spoken directions. In the turn-by-turn directions interface, you can tap on the ^ button to see a new Voice Volume option that allows you to choose between Softer, Normal, and Louder settings. The new volume option joins Add Stop, Share ETA, and Report an Incident.

The voice volume control is useful if you want to hear the directions more clearly or if you want to lower them when listening to music or podcasts. You can also mute the voice completely by tapping on the speaker icon.

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