Apple appears to be paving the way for indoor navigation with a mysterious new app called Indoor Survey. The app isn’t available to the public, though it’s accessible via direct link.
Indoor Survey works by dropping “points” on a map of the building or venue you’re in. That data is combined with the iPhone’s sensors and radio signal strength, creating an indoor map that doesn’t require any extra hardware. The end result could be turn-by-turn directions through the mall, even without the help of Apple’s Bluetooth-powered iBeacons.
For now you need special permission to use the new app, which is listed as version 1.0 and works with any device running iOS 9. Apple also notes that its reliance on GPS is likely to drain your battery, so it may not be worth testing out Indoor Survey even if you get the chance.
Hopefully it won’t be too long before Apple can use this data to rollout an official feature, though it’s possible indoor mapping won’t actually arrive until next year with the release of iOS 10.