Google Maps for iOS receives its first ever update since Google launched it as a standalone app in mid-December. How does this update fair, and would it further widen the great divide between these Apple Maps and Google Maps?
Version 1.1 of Google Maps for iOS brings a number of new features and enhancements, especially in the areas of Google Contacts integration and searching of local businesses.
What’s New in Version 1.1
* Search your Google Contacts; sign in to have your saved addresses show up when you search for friends and family by name.
* Quickly search for local places by selecting popular categories such as restaurants, bars, cafes, gas stations, etc.
* Choose between Kilometers or Miles for your preferred distance units.
* Note that some features may not be available in all countries.
When you bring up Google Maps for iOS and tap on the search bar, you will now be able to see a number of new buttons – a fork and knife button, a coffee cup button, a cocktail glass button, as well as a gas pump button. Press on any of these buttons and Google Maps will help you locate the different restaurants, cafes, bars, and gas stations that are near your location. A neat feature huh. If you where to tap on a specific restaurant, it would give you even more information such as Street View, Inside View (INSIDE VIEW!), reviews, website, operating hours and so on.
How has Google Maps faired since it got pulled out and came back to the iOS? It has already been working well for many people with its inclusion of directions with public transportation, and more accurate directions. The inclusions of local business searches would beef up its already popular interface.
Many say that Apple has been terrible at helping us locate restaurants and causing people to take the wrong turns and exits, but it has kind of been my preferred app because I have been using its local business search feature, and I somehow got used to it. Does this mean I would be switching to Google Maps for iOS now? Well.. its hard to say, I actually can’t stand listening to the voice of the Google’s Map driving directions announcer. :-)