While Google Maps might have the edge on its mapping rivals in terms of features, Apple’s own Maps app has one thing Google’s doesn’t — its 3D Flyover mode. The viewing option overlays detailed images of a location onto precise topographical and structural data, allowing you to zoom in on accurately portrayed buildings, hills, and other landmarks that look like little toy versions of themselves. Apple previously updated Maps with a set of new Flyover-capable cities just before it launched iOS 9, but it’s added to that list again today, enabling the option for locations in Japan, France, Spain, and other countries.
Included in the latest batch are tourist hotspots such as Florence, Genoa, and Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle, a Bavarian hilltop palace that looks like something out of a fairytale. Some cities — including Tokyo, London, and New York — have the option for the user to go on a Flyover “guided tour,” the view sweeping in and out of key locations, areas, and tourist sights. Sadly, none of the newest inclusions have this feature just yet, meaning you’ll have to work out where to go first in Oklahoma City yourself.
Google Maps is seen by many as the market leader, but speaking back in June, Craig Federighi, Apple’s software VP, said that Apple Maps was used 3.5-times more often than the “next leading maps app,” notching up 5 billion requests per week. And while Apple Maps still lacks the Street View features of Google’s competing service, the company is apparently attempting to catch up with its rival. Apple-marked cars and vans have been spotted in cities in the United States and United Kingdom, each bearing similar 3D camera equipment used by Google’s own mapping vehicles, and with its iOS 9 update, Apple added public transit directions to make traversing cities simpler.