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iOS 11 Maps has an awesome virtual reality feature no one is talking about

Published Jun 26th, 2017 5:05PM EDT
iOS 11 Features
Image: Apple

With developers going through every crevice of the latest iOS 11 beta, it seems that new features and interesting tweaks are being unearthed almost daily. One of the more compelling new iOS 11 features we’ve seen is somewhat hidden inside of Apple’s Maps app. Originally brought to light by Paul Haddad over at Tapbots (via iDownloadblog), it appears that the Maps app in iOS 11 has a retooled Flyover feature that adds an element of virtual reality to the experience.

With the current incarnation of Flyover, users have the ability to explore big cities across the globe from a 3D perspective, similar to the perspective one would see while flying over a city from a low-flying helicopter. As it stands now, users can virtually navigate around a city with Flyover by zooming in and swiping to the left or right.

So what’s changed in iOS 11? Well, users don’t necessarily have to manipulate their iPhone screen directly in order to explore a city in Flyover mode. Rather, users can simply walk forward, backward, or even turn to the right or left. In turn, the scenery will adjust accordingly.

Of course, with a feature like this, a picture — or video in this case — is worth a thousand words. Not to fear: Developers over the past few days have started posting new clips of Apple’s revamped Maps app in action:

A YouTube video demonstrating the same feature can be seen below.

iOS 11 is set to release later this fall, and if history is any indication, it will drop sometime in mid-September alongside the rollout of brand new iPhones.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.