Apple is also introducing its improved map service in Germany almost a year after the announcement.

The new features include more details, right down to individual trees and traffic lights.

The photos of streets in the "Look Around" service - Apple's answer to Google's Street View - will initially only be available for Munich, as the iPhone group announced at the start on Thursday.

Digital maps have become the basis for many applications, from a stepping stone for locating nearby shops and places to in-car navigation.

Apple made the strategic decision more than a decade ago to set up its own map service instead of the Google maps initially used in the iPhone.

After initial difficulties, the group invested heavily in the service and, among other things, also sent camera cars to German cities.

More detailed views and improved navigation in Apple's Maps app

These images are not only used for the "look around" function, but also to improve the maps, including showing speed limits and details such as zebra crossings.

Another new feature are more specific navigation instructions such as "turn right after the next traffic light" instead of "right after 50 meters".

In shopping centers, the app should now not only lead to the parking garage, but also to the desired store.

In several German cities, the map app will be able to access the iPhone's camera in order to show directional arrows in the streetscape on the display for better orientation.

Camera teams on foot and by car in Cologne

As Apple announced, four teams with camera backpacks have been in Cologne since the beginning of April – probably until the beginning of July.

From April 22nd, camera vehicles would be added again.

Apple mainly sends people with backpacks to pedestrian zones or parks.

The backpacks not only take photos, but also scan the surroundings with laser radars, such as those used in self-driving vehicles.

With the help of the data, Apple creates the more detailed maps and integrates the street views similar to the competitor's Google Street View.

Houses can be pixelated on request

Apple had already taken the first shots with the camera backpacks in Germany last summer in Munich, Berlin and Hamburg.

The cars have been coming onto German roads for several years.

By default, faces and license plates are blurred in the recordings.

Residents can request that their house be pixelated in the recordings.

Apple presented the new version of the map service at the beginning of June last year at the WWDC developer conference.

It has been available in eight countries so far, including the US, UK, Spain, Italy and Portugal.