Apple Maps might finally get a much-requested feature in iOS 18

Apple Maps
(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

iOS updates usually bring a suite of new features to Apple’s hardware and first-party software – and one rumored upgrade coming with iOS 18 could be the Apple Maps feature you’ve been waiting for: custom routes.

On other apps with custom routes, the feature allows users to specify which route you’d rather take when traveling to your destination. Perhaps you’d rather take a slightly slower but more scenic path, or maybe you’re more familiar with a certain way of getting from A to B, or you might just not like one of the roads Apple Maps is asking you to travel. 

Whatever your reason, custom routes give you more control over your journeys, but right now it's not a feature that's available on Apple Maps. However, a new leak suggests that’ll be changing when iOS 18 rolls out later this year – at least for a lucky few.

The leak comes via MacRumors, which reviewed code that’s been added to the backend of Apple Maps that’s labelled as 'CustomRouteCreation'. We don’t know much more about what the file is or does beyond the title, but MacRumors added that the custom route feature is going to be exclusive to the US at launch.

As always, until Apple makes an official announcement there’s no guarantee that a new feature will appear in its apps when the next iOS update rolls around. But given the file’s name, coupled with the fact that custom routes have been a much-requested feature by Apple Maps users, there's a decent chance that iOS 18 will finally add the feature to the iPhone app.

The WWDC 2024 Logo

(Image credit: Apple)

iOS 18 announcements coming soon?

We shouldn’t have too much longer to wait to find out more about what’s coming in iOS 18. WWDC 2024 has been confirmed for June 10, and it’s where we'll almost certainly see what’s coming in the next suite of Apple software updates for its best iPhones, best iPads, and best Macbook and Macs.

We should also get treated to some hardware reveals – last year Apple unveiled the Apple Vision Pro at WWDC, so we’re expecting big things this year too, likely with a focus on AI. While Apple is usually tight-lipped, some teasers – including a tweet from Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior VP for marketing – have given less than subtle nods to AI. In that instance, Joswiak made a point of capitalizing “Absolutely Incredible” (A and I).

As such, rather than major new hardware we could see Apple, perhaps in partnership with Google, making some big AI announcements – perhaps Siri will finally become the smart assistant we always dreamed of.

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Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.