Last week, I was laughed at when Google updated maps for Android and left iOS users in the dark. Ha! My Android-using friends shouted. Well, today I can laugh back. Google has just updated Maps for iOS. That's right, iOS users, we are no longer left in the dark. Here's what Google has handed down to the iOS crowd.
New Maps for iOS Features
You'll find turn-by-turn navigation, biking directions, public transportation information, and general navigation details are included in the new Maps 2.0 for iOS. You will also find live incident reports (useful if you want to avoid traffic jams and accidents). Another neat feature included in this update is indoor walking maps.
Why would you need an indoor walking map? Let's say that you are about to visit a very large mall, and you don't want to get lost in that mall. Well, Google Maps has your back covered. With the new Maps update for iOS, you won't get lost when walking indoors at certain locations. Indoor walking maps aren't available for all locations, but you'll find that these maps are useful when they are available.
Explore and Review Features
In addition to the indoor walking feature, Google Maps for iOS now includes an Explore feature. Using Explore, you can check out various spots on a map without actually searching for any individual spot. Just browse around with your finger. To add to that fun, Google now includes reviews and ratings for places that you might stumble upon.
Thanks to Zagat integrated information, you can check out the reviews and comments listed next to a restaurant or other spot. You can also review any place that you've recently visited. These ratings are helpful if you are in a new area and aren't sure where to go. Or, if you had really great or really horrible service and you want to let other people know what to expect.
Branding and Coupons
You didn't expect Google Maps to come without any kind of advertising forever, did you? The new Maps comes with offers from big name brands like Michaels and BJs. You can click on these offers to gain access to a coupon as you're walking by a particular store. Or, you can skip the offers altogether. Really, though, this type of advertising isn't the horrible kind - especially if you planned on visiting that popular spot anyway.
Google has also created a brand new iPad Google Maps app. The dedicated iPad app includes all of the features listed above, but, of course, you will be viewing maps on a much bigger screen. If you use your iPad a lot, checking out a helpful map while wandering can be really great - just don't wander into the wrong neighborhood (Google should really add 'bad neighborhood - warning!' signs to Maps, don't you think?).
The new Google Maps for iPhone and iPad is available right now for all to use. Google has opened up all Map updates to the public, so no special selection is required to check out Maps now. Go forth! Explore! Have fun!