Apple adds a dedicated biking feature to Maps in iOS 14

Apple’s newest version of iOS is bringing a host of new features to Maps, including a dedicated cycling option that will optimize paths for bicyclists and even let users know if the route includes challenging hills.

Apple unveiled the new feature Monday at a virtual version of WWDC 2020, the company’s annual developer conference.

Apple Maps has included public transit and walking in previous iterations. But the biking option has been the most requested, according to Apple senior director Stacey Lysik.

The cycling feature will roll out in iOS 14 in a limited number of cities initially, starting with New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Shanghai and Beijing in China. Apple will add many more cities in the coming months, Lysik said.

“We’ve built an incredible cycling experience that helps you get around town on your bike,” Lysik said. 

The biking option takes elevation into account to let users know if they‘re in for a challenging uphill workout or a leisurely flat ride. Lysik said users will also be able to tell it their route includes quiet or busy streets and even if there is a steep passage coming up or if they’ll need to carry their bike up the stairs. 

Stairs is obviously not ideal, so this feature also lets users opt to avoid stairs altogether.

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