Google Spruces Up Maps Apps for iOS and Android
Better navigation, easier offline map access, new business filters and a tie-in with ride service Uber are included in the upgraded Google Maps apps.Google Maps apps for Android and iOS are continuing to be tweaked and improved by Google, and the latest versions add new features such as better navigation and easier offline map access. The new capabilities, which also include business filters so users can find just the right nearby business that can provide the products or services that they need, as well as integration with the Uber ride service, were announced by Jeffrey Hightower, the Google Maps software engineering manager, in a May 6 post on the Google Lat Long Blog. "When your life is moving fast, you need tools to keep up with your pace," wrote Hightower. "Google Maps for mobile is the perfect travel companion for your daily commute, weekend errands, and (much-needed) vacations. Starting today, you now have even more ways to avoid life's everyday hiccups with Google Maps for Android and iPhone/iPad." The improved navigation feature in Google Maps apps now shows users "which lane to stay in or move to" so they will find their destinations better, wrote Hightower. "You'll also have easy access to alternate routes while you're navigating, so you can choose the best drive for you."
The upgraded offline Maps capabilities mean that users will be able to find and save maps online before they leave on their trips, so they can use them when WiFi or cellular signal access is a problem, wrote Hightower. "Before setting off on your next vacation, hike or road trip, search for an area and tap on its place info sheet, then when available, you can select 'Save map to use offline,' and give your map a custom name, like 'Toronto Vacation,'" he wrote. "To find your offline maps, sign-in, tap the profile icon next to the search box in the top right corner, and scroll to see 'Toronto Vacation' and other saved maps."