Google updates iOS maps app with contact integration and better local services

Back in December 2012, Google saved many iPhone users from being lost in the weird world of Apple Maps with their own client, Google Maps. The application came with all the standard mapping features that were present before, but with a more beautiful UI and the inability to make the app your default mapping program. Within just 48 hours, Google Maps for iOS had been downloaded 10 million times. 

Now, Google has introduce some incremental features to Google Maps on the iPhone, including improved integration with Google Contacts and improved local search results. The former allows the user to get directions to a friend or relative's house without having to type out their address manually. Of course, you may not use Google Contacts – or any of their services – which will degrade the purpose of this inclusion. 

Local search has also been improved, with Google adding the ability to search for categories (such as bars, cinemas, shops, and so on) nearby. You can see the results on a map, or in a list which include key information such as Zagat ratings, opening hours and Google reviews. Apple's own Siri offers similar features, instead powered by Yelp and OpenTable, but requires the use of Apple Maps.

Google describes this update as a step towards their goal of making Google Maps for iOS "comprehensive, accurate and useful – wherever you may be in the world." 

The update is currently live in the App Store. 

Source: Google | Image via Pocket-lint

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9 Comments

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Was hoping for offline maps with this release. If Google manages to get offline maps to work with the current turn-by-turn navigation, that would be a killer feature.

Hate this as well, as if they make it on purpose

Thankfully I'm using a Contact app called "Cobook". I can tap the address on my contact there and has an option to open it in Google Map app

The first sentence.... it's making out Apple made the Google Maps app??? Is it just me or am I reading it wrong?

AshUK said,
The first sentence.... it's making out Apple made the Google Maps app??? Is it just me or am I reading it wrong?

yes, I think it should say Google saved iPhone users.

Why hasnt google maps been released as an Ipad app yet?

jerzdawg said,

Why hasnt google maps been released as an Ipad app yet?

The iPhone is essential because you can travel with it, the iPad less so. One is coming, though.