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Apple Maps is expanding its coverage once again. Following last month’s announcement of the new Apple Maps features that were coming to Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia, Apple has now started testing them in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Slovakia.
This latest expansion is the 19th time Apple has increased its coverage since the launch of the new mapping system in September 2018. The new system boasts far greater detail and improved navigation compared to its predecessor, which got off to a rocky start.
When Apple Maps was first launched in 2012, it was part of iOS 6, and it replaced Google Maps as the preinstalled map app on iPhones. Unfortunately, it was plagued with issues, including melting landscapes and gross inaccuracies. Things were so bad that Apple CEO Tim Cook was forced to issue a public apology, in which he recommended that iPhone owners download a map app from one of Apple’s competitors. Scott Forstall, who led the Apple Maps project, left the company soon after.
Despite working hard to fix the original mapping data, Apple eventually decided to create its own maps from scratch, with a statement that read: “Maps is being rebuilt from the ground up to better reflect the world around you. The new underlying map uses Apple data and features enhanced geographic context like pedestrian paths and parks, more detailed building outlines and parking lots, better road network coverage, and more. You’ll also be able to get where you’re going with improved routes, whether you’re on the road or on foot.”
The rollout began in the US and has been gradually expanding to cover more countries around the world.
Apple has quietly rolled out the new Apple Maps features to a limited number of users in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Slovakia, without any official announcement as yet. Justin O’Beirne, an Apple Maps expert, was the first to spot the expansion.
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It’s worth noting that the availability of specific features varies by city, and it is likely that the latest locations will be officially announced at WWDC.
When the new Apple Maps features are made available to everyone, the full list of countries and regions to enjoy the new Apple Maps experience will comprise Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czechia, Finland, France, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel (including Palestinian Territories), Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, The Netherlands, The US Virgin Islands, United Kingdom, United States, and Vatican City.