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Quick Tip: Send Directions From Your Mac to Your iPhone

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This post is part of a series called OS X Mavericks.
Getting the Most From Maps in OS X Mavericks
Quick Tip: A Tour of the Notification Center Changes in Mavericks

Going somewhere? Mavericks brought with it a native client for Apple’s map data, and although it hasn’t been around as long as the competition, Apple’s offering is evolving at a fast pace and remains focused on usability and integration.

If you’re planning a trip, you can say farewell to sitting in the driveway tapping at your phone. Instead, make use of this quick tip to send directions from Maps straight to your iPhone or iPad, so you can be ready to navigate as soon as you hit the car.


Send Directions From Your Mac to Your iPhone


The Maps app is an under-appreciated addition to Mavericks designed to help you find directions and make use of them easily.

It used to be that getting directions meant opening a browser, going to, printing out directions on paper, and handing them to your “navigator”—or worse, using a physical map book!

Nowadays, it’s easy to look up directions on your iPhone, but what if you prefer the bigger interface of your computer when searching for a route?

Getting Directions

I’m going to open up Maps and plot an example route to show you how you can instantly and effortlessly beam directions from your Mac to your iPhone or iPad.

Step 1: Open Maps

Whether you use a tool like Alfred, or prefer to look through your Applications folder, find and launch Maps.

If you’re running it for the first time, Maps will prompt you for permission to access your location—you can refuse if you like, but then it won’t be able to automatically offer directions from your current location.

Maps InterfaceMaps InterfaceMaps Interface
Maps is a clean, simple, and quick tool with minimal chrome.

Tip: If you change your mind about your answer, you can easily grant or revoke permission by heading into Settings > Security & Privacy and looking in the Privacy tab for Location Services. There you’ll see Maps along with any other app that has requested permission to see where you are.

Step 2: Plot a Route

In my example, I’m planning a road trip from my old university to a provincial park up north. To begin, click on Directions to open up the sidebar.

As you type, Maps will auto-complete suggestions for points of interest to save you time.

If you allowed access to Location Services in the previous step, Maps will default to using your current location as the starting point. In my case, I’m going to type in the name of my old university. As I enter the name in the directions, you’ll notice that Maps is performing a search to identify what I’m looking for without me having to input specific address information.

Once both my Start and End points are determined, I can look over the route and choose an alternate path if I’m not happy with the default one that Maps has chosen. To do this, simply click one of the pale bubbles indicating trip lengths to make that the highlighted route instead.

Route SelectionRoute SelectionRoute Selection
Maps defaults to the shortest route, but you can pick an alternate path if you prefer.

Step 3: Send to iPhone

As soon as you’re happy with the directions, use the Share button to select a destination. In my case, I’d like to send the directions to my iPhone, but if you prefer to navigate using your iPad then you can select that in the dropdown menu instead.

Share to iPhoneShare to iPhoneShare to iPhone
The Share button allows you to send your directions to any iDevice on your account.

Once you’ve sent the directions, a push notification arrives seconds later on your chosen device, and it opens directly into Maps, ready to navigate!

Your route arrives, from your Mac, to your iOS deviceYour route arrives, from your Mac, to your iOS deviceYour route arrives, from your Mac, to your iOS device
Your route arrives, from your Mac, to your iOS device

Bon Voyage!

As Apple continues to improve its mapping content, you can take advantage of this seamless integration to plan routes more easily than ever before.

Happy travels!

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