iOS 11 Indoor Maps

A new feature in iOS 11 is the ability to zoom in on malls and airports and see inside with accurate maps of interior locations. This can be handy for navigating indoors in these crowded and often confusing places. However, indoor maps are only available for a handful of locations at the moment, with more coming soon.

Video Transcript
A new feature in iOS 11 is in the Maps app. It's the ability to be able to look inside at some locations, particularly shopping malls and airports. Unfortunately this is rolling out really slowly so only a handful of airports and malls are available now. But let's take a look at how it works.

So here I am just looking at a map and I happen to know that the San Jose airport is one that works. So I'm going to zoom in and I can see the airport there. Of course I can also search for it and jump right to it. As I get closer to it I'll be able to see that the terminal gives me a little look inside button. It's very tiny under the name there. I could tap that to look inside. Or I could just continue to pinch out to zoom in.

At some point the interior resolves and I can actually see inside. I can see individual stores and gates and everything like that. So this is really nice. It's nice to have a consistent interface. I know from traveling you can always get a map of the airport that you're in but maps look very different and they're marked very differently. Just trying to get your bearings is really tough. Sometimes trying to actually get that before you arrive at the airport is nearly impossible. So having a consistent interface where I can scout out an airport or get around while I'm there will help a lot.

You can also do 3D views. I'm just going to use two fingers and drag up to get a kind of 3D view if that's easier to help you navigate and I can spin around to help orient myself and see each place. Of course I can tap on a location to find out more about it. So this is really useful for airports.

Notice there's also this Browse SJC button so to browse the airport. That's the airport code. I tap that and I will get information about the airport in general on the left. Then I can also hit the L2 button and you can see that L stands for level. So I can go Level 1, Level 2, Level 3. So that's how they deal with multiple levels at airports and malls.

So let's try and find a shopping mall. It's pretty difficult to find one. So here I'm looking at Los Angeles where I know that there are plenty. Even if I go to a mall that you would think would have this, I can go to The Grove here and you would think since there's an Apple Store there but it's just the old interface here for just kind of marking the approximate locations of stores based on the external maps.

So let's go and find one and I did find out that this mall here does. So you can see as I get closer it resolves and I can see inside. So now I can see individual stores here. I've got the same thing with doing a 3D view. I've got levels so I can deal with that. Of course I can tap on individual stores to get information about them.

So hopefully this feature will come to more malls soon and airports and maybe other indoor areas as well. It can help us find our way around. Of course I'm showing you on an iPad here. But it's even going to be more useful to be able to use this on the iPhone when you're actually in the location, walking around trying to find something.

Comments: 7 Responses to “iOS 11 Indoor Maps”

    Angela
    10/12/17 @ 12:52 pm

    Can a blind user take advantage of these indoor maps – i.e. are these maps built with indoor navigation of beacons in mind to one’s location within the building adjusts as it does with outdoor mobility in Maps?

    10/12/17 @ 12:54 pm

    Angela: I just don’t know. I didn’t know that Apple Maps offered anything like that for regular maps, so I’m not sure if they also offer it for the new indoor ones.

    Tony Staples
    10/13/17 @ 12:58 am

    As always Gary – Just USA. EG Nothing for Heathrow – the biggest airport in the UK

    Robin
    10/15/17 @ 8:44 am

    Are there any buildings in the uk covered?

    10/15/17 @ 9:18 am

    Robin: Probably not yet. But I’m sure Apple is trying to roll this out as fast as they can.

    Bita
    10/17/17 @ 8:21 am

    Does Find Friends use the same map features?

    10/17/17 @ 8:35 am

    Bita: It should, yes.

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