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 …
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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.