A Few Simple Apple Maps Tips

October 14, 2018 by Gabe | [mmd] |

I still prefer Apple Maps over most other mapping apps because of its simplicity, integration with iOS, and support for pausing other audio sources.1 As with nearly every Apple app, many of the best features aren't obvious to a casual user. This information is available in many other places on the internet but I'm posting it here for all of the friends of Macdrifter.com and as a reminder that it's hard to make an app that is both simple and powerful.

First up, visit the Maps settings. There are a few tweaks available that add some useful options.

Settings

Routing Options

I prefer to avoid highways for most of my driving. I like the scenic routes and to avoid the Massholes on the highways. Toggle this little option to prefer the roads less explored.

Routing Option

Sometimes I just want to get to my destination as fast as possible and will prefer taking highways. This is still possible to switch in Apple Maps without going back to the settings. Everyone is familiar with the Apple Map's multiple routing options. Tapping on a route selects it for navigation.

Routes

I can also pull up from the bottom of the route page to reveal alternative route details. These include a bit more detail about routes that aren't "preferred" as well as a way to quickly toggle route preferences. Tap the "Driving Options" link in the lower left to switch options for the current search.

Toggle Options

Tap on the route in the list to see a detailed list of directions.

Directions

If I'm already following a route and I'm getting low on gas or caffeine, I swipe up from the bottom to reveal some new options. There are quick search options for gas and food.

Detours

Tapping these shows a list of related services closest to my current location. Tapping one of the locations adds a detour to my current route.

Detour Choices

The speaker icon on this hidden sheet is a handy way to crank up the navigation voice with out blasting the car radio. You folks with kids will understand the value of this.

Audio Options

Pause Spoken Audio

Back into settings. Switch on the "Pause Spoken Audio" toggle.

Audio Settings

This is great for podcast junkies, especially if you use an app like the excellent Overcast. When Apple Maps announces directions, Overcast will stop playing and then resume when Siri is done talking. Overcast is even smart enough to rewind a few seconds to let you catch back up to what was being said.

Extensions

You must have apps installed that support Apple Maps extensions for anything to show up here. I have Uber and Yelp. Uber is a terrible company this sometimes necessary. I leave that extension off so that I really have to think hard about giving them my dollar-endorsement.

Extensions

Yelp is nice if you often book reservations through their app. I don't but I have aspirations of a social life some day so I leave it on.

Show Parked Car

This is kind of a set it and forget it thing. With this option on, my iPhone automatically tracks the last location it had a Bluetooth connection with my car. It works great if I'm parked in a big open space. It's less helpful if I'm parked in a big concrete garage. Still, with very little cognitive overhead it's nice to get a blue marker on my map as a reminder of where I parked.

Locations

There's a good amount hidden behind location markers in Apple Maps. Force press a location to get to a share sheet that is pretty much identical to what is already available with a swipe. I never use this force press option.

Sliding up on a simple location marker provides an option to share the location. I forget about this often and it makes me mad. Sharing a location is a terrific way to give other iOS users, like my wife a way to find me or get their own directions when following me.

Location Markers

I use mostly use Rego Pro for creating a list of places to visit on a trip but if I want to take detailed notes and keep a quick list of the Apple Maps locations, there's nothing better than Apple Notes. Each location receives a nice little thumbnail. Tapping on the location opens Apple Maps to the marker.

Apple Notes

Overall, I think Rego Pro is a much better option but it's iPhone only.

Back to Apple Maps...

With a marker for a business, there are a lot more reasons to slide up on the information panel in Apple Maps. With Yelp integration I can quickly get the hours for the business or even just jump to their website or call them directly. I can also just open the location in Yelp to figure out if the reviews are actually useful.

Business Marker


  1. It's also not owned by an advertising company, so that's nice. 

tags

Older articles

  1. Empathy Sabbatical

    October 09, 2018 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    I read this New Yorker article not because I care that much about Linux but because I became fascinated about the concept.

    On Sunday, the benevolent dictator announced that he would be stepping down temporarily, to “get some assistance on how to understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately.” Torvalds ...

  2. OmniFocus and Siri Shortcuts Field Guides

    October 08, 2018 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    I like pretty much everything David Sparks makes. He has good insight and generally soothing style. But, like many folks I've mostly given up on Apple's iBooks platform. I'm happy to see David transition to an all new learning platform for his wonderful field guides.

    Siri Shortcuts ...

  3. Lutron Switches, HomeKit Automation, and the Long Road Ahead

    October 07, 2018 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    With two HomePods in my house (so far) I have moved on to giving them the keys to as much as possible. My second step was to deploy Lutron smart switches to replace some Hue bulbs.

    Why Not Hue

    Hue bulbs are excellent. They are responsive, last a very long ...

  4. Shortcuts Gallery

    September 26, 2018 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    There's quite a bit of excitement for Shortcuts since iOS 12 released. I expect to see more things like this gallery. I'm skeptical and optimistic about how much Shortcuts will be adopted by average users. Resources like these help.

  5. Two Point Failure: Trials and Tribulations of iPhone Activation

    September 22, 2018 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    Yesterday I ended my day with a feeling of amused frustration. I received a new iPhone Xs as part of the Apple upgrade program.1 I've used this plan in the past and I've been happy with the results. I had no reason to suspect I'd end ...

  6. Jupyter Notebooks at Netflix

    September 10, 2018 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    I love this Netflix blog post about how they use Jupyter notebooks.

    I’m not an programmer but I do play one at work and I’m partial to using notebooks when I explore. Part of my day job is to develop the system architecture for a long term engineering ...

  7. Anki Flashcards

    September 09, 2018 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    I’ll admit, I’m terrible at rote memorization. I always have been, which is weird for someone that became a chemist. Often chemistry is approached by pre-med students as another flashcard topic, and this definitely works for many people.

    If you are someone that uses flashcards then this Anki ...

  8. Valve explains 'progress' toward a new Steam Store content policy

    September 06, 2018 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    From Engadget

    As far as the games that are (or will be) allowed, the plan is for developers of games with violent or sexual content to write their own description that includes context of how the material appears.

    I may be wrong, but I think Valve will regret this model ...

  9. The Missed Opportunity of Shelf Apps on iOS

    September 03, 2018 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    With iOS 12 right around the corner, I'm feeling a little let down by the variety and power of "shelf" apps on iOS 11. Apple provided us with a new model to move data between apps and it was a great start. One of my favorite features of drag ...