How to use Apple Maps Look Around feature in iOS 13

Look Around is Apple's response to Google Street View, and it is a billion times better, if your area has coverage, that is. Look Around is just beginning and covers very few places. Street View, on the other hand, is available for almost anywhere, even underwater, mountains and hiking trails.

Why is it better to look around? Well, it's faster, for example. And it looks better. The images are super high resolution and full screen. Using it on a 13-inch iPad Pro feels like taking a virtual tour of a neighborhood's street.

How to use Apple Maps Look Around on iOS 13

So how do you use Look Around on iOS 13? Step 1 is to open the Apple Maps application and navigate to a city where Look Around is available. I chose San Francisco, which is Apple's test bench for most of the new map features. It also (mostly) has a grid layout, which means it can really accelerate around the place.

  Touch the binoculars, or the Apple Maps Look Around thumbnail, to get started.
Touch the binoculars, or the Look Around miniature, to get started.
Photo: Cult of Mac

You will know when Look Around is available because you will see an icon of binoculars below the family arrow and information icons in the corner from the screen. If the information panel is open (and generally is, since Maps is obsessed with showing the damn thing), you will also see a thumbnail that shows a preview of Look around at that location. Simply tap any of these to access the full view in full screen.

Fly Around

The rest is easy. Tap anywhere on the screen to move to that location. You will fly there, fast or slow, depending on how far you touched. If you can see in the distance, touch the road and you will go to the other side of the peninsula. The tapping is super accurate, so you can move from one side of the road to the other to see a slightly different view. And the effect is very smooth. It looks more like a video game than the stuttering and uneven experience of the Google version. That's because Look Around is a suitable 3D. Map photos on a landscape model, instead of simply pasting a bunch of 2D photos together as Google does for Street View. It's like a street level version of Apple's Flyover feature.

  Even in San Francisco, you must stay on the roads in Apple Maps Look Around.
Even in San Francisco, you must stay on the roads. [19659007] Photo: Cult of Mac

Touch and slide to scroll, or look up and down. Pinch to zoom in and out. Touch any label that appears next to business addresses to see the information superimposed on the map. In this panel you can save, share, bookmark and more.

  Use the Apple map and the Look together view.
Use the map and the Look together view.
Photo: Cult of Mac

When finished, touch Done to get out of sight Look around. Or you can touch the double arrow icon to reduce the view of Look around a floating panel. Then, you can continue browsing as before, or by tapping and dragging on the map below.

Find Look Around on Apple Maps

The streets added to Look Around appear with a blue outline in the Maps view. Because the map and the Look Around panel are linked, this is a really intuitive way to navigate.

  The available Look Around streets are marked in blue on Apple Maps.
The available streets are marked in blue.
Photo: Cult of Mac

I love the Apple Maps Look Around feature. While writing this post, I got lost exploring San Francisco. I just want the show to cover more cities, but I guess it will come. Finally.

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