All the Changes in Maps: Curated Hikes, Offline Mapping, Custom Walking Routes, and More

Apple Watch Topographic maps

Several upcoming software updates from Apple will introduce new features to the Maps app across various devices, as announced at WWDC 24. These updates are expected to be available in Fall 2024.

iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia

Better National Park exploration

Users will be able to browse information on thousands of curated hikes in all 63 National Parks in the United States (the number may vary slightly depending on the software version).

Filters will be available to narrow down hike selections based on factors like length, elevation gain, and route type.

iOS 18, iPadOS 18

Offline maps functionality

Users can now save both pre-existing hikes and custom walking routes for offline access. This will help for navigation even in areas with limited or no internet connection.

Custom walking route creation

This new feature allows users to create their own custom walking routes within the Maps app. These routes can then be saved for future use.

Places library

A new Places Library is being introduced to allow users to save their favorite hikes, custom walking routes, and other locations.

Users can add personal notes to each entry for better organization and reference.

watchOS 11

Expanded workout tracking on Apple Watch

Improved GPS functionality promises more accurate distance tracking for all supported workouts.

Offline hike navigation

Users can save hike information for all US National Parks directly to their Apple Watch. Saved hikes can be accessed offline and provide turn-by-turn navigation even without an iPhone nearby.

Custom route navigation

In addition to saved hikes, users can create custom walking routes on their iPhones and access them later for navigation using only their Apple Watch.

We know most of these changes are the same, but we wanted to separate them amongst the different devices for your ease.

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