Apple Maps for iOS 8 will include a new "City Tour" feature

An eagle-eyed developer has unlocked Apple Maps’ new City Tour feature and a video shows the full capabilities of the under-the-radar iOS 8 feature that will be released in full later on this year. 9to5Mac reports that developer Pierre Blazquez managed to uncover the feature by using a hidden debug screen in iOS 8 Beta 2 and it gives some more detail on the new facet of Apple’s beleaguered mapping service. City Tours, which is shown in a video made by Blazquez, is basically a flyover of major cities over the world with stops made at famous landmarks across the cityscape similar to the open top busses that clog the streets of many cities. When the user chooses to go into the City Tour mode the screen immediately switches to satellite mode and pans to the landmarks across the city before zooming in and stopping for a few moments at each one.

Although deeper changes to Maps are in the works, Apple did announce a new City Tours feature for iOS 8 discreetly on one of the keynote slides. This feature is not normally available in the current iOS 8 betas, but developer Pierre Blazquez has managed to unlock the feature through a hidden debug screen and shines some light on exactly what ‘City Tours’ entails. City Tours is best described as a guided-camera Flyover view. After activating the tour, the Maps app changes to satellite mode and begins zooming and panning to different landmarks in the city. For example, in the video, the tour rotates and pans between a couple of different cathedrals. More screenshots after the break. Currently, the betas only show a handful of supported cities: Rome, Stockholm, Barcelona, New York, Paris, Glasgow, Cape Town, Perth, Bordeaux and San Francisco. As with other Flyover features, Apple will add more City Tours over time and it is likely that the list may change by the time iOS 8 ships. Obviously, the user interface for activating these tours is currently work-in-progress and will look very different from the debug menus seen in the video. The iPhone screenshots are closer to what users will see, but are still far from finished. It will be interesting to see how Apple will surface this feature in the Maps UI to users as iOS 8 approaches release.

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