Apple takes aim at AllTrails with major upgrade for hikers


Apple isn’t always first with popular mobile features, but you can depend on the company to add them to its iPhones eventually.

Consider AllTrails, the hiking app built by a San Francisco-based company that Apple named as the iPhone App of the Year in 2023. Now, later this year with iOS 18, the Cupertino tech giant plans to integrate some of AllTrails’ best features into its own Apple Maps for free.

The announcement came Monday on the first day of Apple’s weeklong Worldwide Developers Conference, held at the company’s Cupertino headquarters. At the Apple Park “spaceship,” hundreds of employees gathered with developers and a horde of journalists to watch a keynote session of smoothly clipped videos touting Apple’s forthcoming software upgrades for iPhones, iPads, Macs and Vision Pro headsets.

The hiking upgrade was buried in what Apple software head Craig Federighi described as a “rapid conveyor belt” of iOS 18 news, but it’s a boost for the many hikers who use iPhones and Apple Watches to plan and navigate trails in the United States’ national parks.

“Maps delivers new topographic maps with detailed trail networks and hiking routes, including all 63 US national parks, that can be saved to your phone and accessed offline,” Federighi said. The popular location app will also have voice guidance for trail directions and a function where users can create their own trails, he added.

Though Federighi did not reveal a full list of features, it appears the updated Maps app will show elevation gains and losses and hold a “library” of saved and downloaded hikes. At least for national parks coverage, the library feature alone will give Apple Maps an important advantage over AllTrails, which offers downloadable offline maps only in its paid version ($35.99 per year).

Messaging, as well, will improve for off-the-grid hikers once Apple’s new software rolls out later this fall. The company, on Monday, announced “messages via satellite” — the technology currently used for emergency calls will let iPhone owners send texts without Wi-Fi or cellular data.

This deep into the iPhone’s history, changes to the flagship Apple device feel more like tweaks than full-on upgrades. Nothing in iOS 18 is likely to dramatically change how you use your iPhone, but Apple released a long list of new features.

Among them are Siri getting access to more information from apps across the device, and eventually being able to read on-screen content. Message tapbacks on iPhone will soon include every emoji, users will be able to schedule send texts, and in chats they’ll get the ability to bold, italicize and strike through text on messages. Apple also gave its Photos app a redesign, and the iPhone home and lock screens will be more customizable. You’ll be able to send money through Apple Pay by tapping two iPhones together, and a new passwords app will let you manage and store passwords across your Apple devices.

Apple devoted about 40 minutes of its WWDC keynote to “Apple Intelligence,” its long-awaited update in the much-hyped artificial intelligence field. The company’s newer devices will soon have ChatGPT automatically plugged-in and offer generative image and text tools, the company said.

In Apple Maps, users can now browse thousands of hikes across national parks in the United States and easily create their own custom walking routes, which they can still access offline. Apple/dpaIn Apple Maps, users can now browse thousands of hikes across national parks in the United States and easily create their own custom walking routes, which they can still access offline. Apple/dpa

In Apple Maps, users can now browse thousands of hikes across national parks in the United States and easily create their own custom walking routes, which they can still access offline. Apple/dpa



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top