iOS 17: Apple Maps may get a smaller widget on the Lock Screen
Apple will reportedly introduce a new lock screen experience for Apple Maps in iOS 17. Leaked concept renders of the new design show a smaller widget that can be resized.
Let's talk briefly about the current implementation of Apple Maps. When you enable navigation on your iPhone, the feature takes up the entire space on the screen. That can be useful while driving, but there is one major problem with it. It does not allow you to access the other content on your Lock Screen such as other widgets and notifications. Apple may have done this to prevent drivers from getting distracted by notifications, but I think enabling Driving Focus may do a better job of keeping them safe. Also, it doesn't really make sense why iOS has to prevent access to widgets when you're walking (with directions enabled) or sharing a ride as a passenger, i.e. in situations where it is safe to use the phone.
Getting access to the notifications from the lock screen while Maps is active is a bit of a convoluted mess. You will have to swipe down from the left corner of the screen to access the notification panel, and of course, you will need to unlock the phone to interact with the messages that you may have received.
That is why I think a new Apple Maps widget in iOS 17 could be a welcome move. Renders created by Analyst941 on Twitter show a new Live Activity view for Apple Maps. The leaker is known for sharing the Dynamic Island before it was announced. They recently shared some concept renders of the redesigned UI of Wallet, Health and Wallpapers. It not only looks a lot better than the current design, but could be functionally superior. The lock screen will display the time and date at the top of the screen, while the Maps navigational interface takes up the rest of the screen space.
The iOS 17 Apple Maps widget could be resizable, which will allow users to minimize it to the size of the music player widget. A second tap on it will bring back the widget in its maximized view. According to the leaker, users will be able to pan the map around by swiping. The Cupertino company is said to be experimenting with two ways to allow users to switch to the Maps app, you will either be able to tap on the map or long press on the widget. The important thing here is that minimizing the Maps widget will display other notifications on the screen. The leaker says that the animation offers a seamless transition (from the Maps screen) while unlocking the device. Swiping up on the screen will allow you to view the notifications.
The leaker claims that this is the final design of Apple Maps, and it is guaranteed to arrive in iOS 17. This could be a part of the new interactive widgets that are said to be included in iOS 17. Still, as with all leaks, I would take this with a pinch of salt, but I like the design and hope it is the real deal. Apple will unveil iOS 17 at the WWDC 2023 event in June.