Apple’s Maps’ New “City Tours” Feature Uncovered In iOS 8 Betas

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An officially announced but yet-to-seen feature in Apple’s new operating system iOS called “City Tours,” has been unlocked by an enterprising developer who managed to capture a video of what this 3D “Flyover” technology will look like, when it goes live. The feature, which lets you view a city from above, zooming in and panning around famous landmarks, was noted on a slide at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, but hadn’t been released in the current iOS 8 beta builds.

However, developer Pierre Blazquez figured out how to unlock City Tours through a hidden debug screen.

City Tours are one of the many upgrades coming with the introduction of iOS 8. They allow you to virtually visit a number of major cities around the world, including New York, Barcelona, Rome, Stockholm, Glasgow, Cape Town, Perth, Bordeaux, Paris, and San Francisco, according to what’s been unlocked as of today.

However, that list will likely grown by the time iOS 8 is released to the general public.

After a user kicks off one of these Tours, the Maps app will switch into Satellite mode, then begin zooming around the city, letting you view notable landmarks from many angles, and generally giving you a bird’s eye view of things. It’s not necessarily the kind of thing that will be practical in terms of everyday navigation, but it could be a fun thing to play with, especially if you’re thinking of traveling to a new city, or just want to be reminded of how some famous building looks.

There are a few videos of City Tours in action now on YouTube, including this one of D.C., published by 9to5Mac and another of Paris, published by Mac4Ever.