On July 29, 2021, Apple began publicly testing its next expansion area: the Italian Peninsula, including Italy, San Marino, and Vatican City. (Sardinia and Sicily are included; Malta is not.)
The new map data of Italy has shapes for additional green areas, adjusted road classifications, new 3D landmark and building models, and shapes for commercial corridors.
Once Expansion #12 is released for all Apple Maps users, Italy, San Marino, and Vatican City will be the seventh, eighth, and ninth countries to receive Apple’s new map data.
In the past, Apple has spent between 16 and 52 days publicly testing its earlier expansions — with the average testing period lasting 39 days. This puts the final release of Expansion #12 sometime in early to mid September—likely coinciding with iOS 15’s public launch.
Speaking of iOS 15, as of July 30th, Apple has made Expansion #12 available to all iOS 15 Beta testers—which is the first time since iOS 12 that Apple has made a new map expansion available to all iOS Beta testers.
Italy has a lower percentage of iOS users compared to the other areas Apple has already expanded to (and just ~8.5 million iOS users overall), so Apple is likely trying to enlarge the Expansion #12 testing pool in order to ensure a high quality release.
MacDailyNews Take: Check out the Apple Maps changes in Rome and Pisa with more info in the full article here.