Google has pushed a major update to its Maps app for iOS – Google Maps 3.0, with numerous new features including offline maps support, turn-by-turn lane guidance, advanced search filters, Uber integration, pins and much more.
One of the most requested feature for Google Maps for iOS was the offline maps. With Maps 3.0 for iOS, Google introduces offline mode that allows you to save Google maps on your device so you may access them without internet connectivity. This is a major advantage of Google maps over Apple’s own built-in maps app. The feature was already there in earlier release but it was a bit tricky to save the maps, the option in more discoverable in version 3.0.
To save maps offline, simply search or navigate to the desired area, tap on the bottom bar that should bring up the info sheet. Tap “Save map to use offline” button and save the area with a desired name to retrieve it later.
Note: offline maps are available in specific regions, so it’d be wise to check Google’s list of available countries before trying the feature.
With version 3.0, Google maps will tell you the best lane to stay in or move to an alternate lane when an intersection is approaching to avoid long distances and wrong route. This makes it easy to switch to an alternate route. Lane guidance feature is limited to US, Canada and Japan. Hopefully, Google with expand this feature to more countries as humanly as possible.
Improved Transit results
Google has improved transit results. As per Google, they have added more than a million public stops on Google Maps. Additionally the app now displays total walking time and the next scheduled bus or train.
– Turn-by-turn navigation now gives lane guidance and quick access to route overview (US and Canada only)
– View travel time, distance, and estimated arrival all at once in navigation mode (US only)
– Save offline maps to a custom list for when you’re traveling or have a slow connection
– Transit results now display total walking time of your trip and the next scheduled bus or train
– Filter search results for restaurants, bars and hotels by rating, price, opening hours, and more (US only)
– Sign in to see your “Places to review” list from recently saved or searched-for places
– If you have the Uber app installed, open it right from Google Maps when comparing route options
Things you’ve been asking for
– Access your iPhone or iPad contacts directly from the Google Maps app
– Tap and hold anywhere on the map to drop a pin, save and share that location
– Search without typing using Google Voice Search
– Scale bar to estimate distances on the map
If you have Google Maps already installed on your iOS device, you can download the latest update from under Update tab in the app store app or use the direct iTunes link below to download Google Maps 3.0.
Download Google Maps 3.0 for iOS for free. [iTunes link]
* iOS 6.0 or later is required to install the app.