iOS 18 gives Apple Maps a big search upgrade to go with its offline hiking trails

Three iPhones on a green and blue background showing trails on Apple Maps
(Image credit: Apple)

The latest beta for iOS 18 is showcasing a slew of upgrades for your iPhone’s essential apps that’ll be rolling out to everyone later this year – and Apple Maps is no exception, with a handful of new features en route.

The standout improvement for most people will be a new Search Here button (via Reddit). Currently, Apple Maps is a little frustrating when it comes to searching for places like restaurants outside of your current location. Search for restaurant options in another part of town, and Apple Maps often returns its view to your current location – forcing you to scroll all the way back over.

This new Search Here button eliminates that annoyance by forcing the app to look in the area that's currently on screen, even if that’s not where you are right now.

New “Search Here” button finally implemented in iOS 18 from r/applemaps

Yes, it’s a somewhat minor tweak, but for frequent Apple Maps users we expect it’ll save them a lot of hassle and frustration when using the search function going forward. That’s not all iOS 18 has to offer though.

A hiker’s best friend?

An Phone on a green and blue background showing trails on Apple Maps

(Image credit: Apple)

If you love walking then iOS 18 will make Apple Maps a lot more helpful, if you live in the US. Hikers will be able to take advantage of new topographic maps for US National Parks that serve up more accurate details on trails you’re looking to explore. You'll also be able to download trail maps so you can access them even when you lose your internet connection.

There are also tools for customizing your walks. You'll be able to create custom walks and hiking routes to use instead of Apple Maps’ recommendations. Perhaps you prefer a more scenic route, or want trek to avoid certain areas. Whether it's a custom route or a pre-made one you can also make notes about your saved trails to help aid you in navigating them in the future.

Combine these tools with the iPhone’s satellite phone capabilities – at least for iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro models – and Apple’s smartphone is looking more and more useful for hikers and outdoorsy types.

We’ll have to see if iOS 18’s full release brings any more upgrades to Apple Maps, or other iPhone features, to continue this trend, but it's certainly looking promising so far.

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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.