Google Maps for iOS updated with lane guidance, improved offline maps, Uber integration

Google released a major feature update to Google Maps for iOS today bringing a handful of useful features for navigation and travel with your iPhone and iPad including integration with the private transportation service Uber.

First up is a feature found on many dedicated GPS devices: lane guidance. The feature will present which lane is necessary with current directions to help you avoid missing important turns. Notably, Apple’s Maps software does not currently offer this feature. Google says lane guidance is currently only available for users in the US and Canada…

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The next feature will likely appeal to people managing data limits or traveling away from network service. Google Maps is introducing the ability save maps for use offline easier so you can essentially have a map handy without relying on your network if you know your destination ahead of time. The update also introduces filtered searches for points-of-interest by category, pricing, hours, and more.

Lastly, Google Maps is getting closer to Uber, the app-connected taxi alternative available in certain cities, as it will now feature an Uber button alongside transit and walking directions. Tapping the Uber button will bring you to the Uber app on your smartphone from the Google Maps app. Uber, after all, has financial backing from Google Ventures, its investment wing of the company.

The new version of Google Maps is available for iPhone and iPad on the App Store.

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  1. alvinguzman - 9 years ago

    sounds like fabulous update – I am quite happy with Apple Maps – but I will download and give it a spin.

    • Look up “A & E Tax Service” in Portland, Oregon on both services. Apple Maps 3-4 blocks wrong. This has been reported several times. Still not fixed.

      It was quite embarrassing arguing to my tax people, “Did you guys move 3 blocks away??” The maps said so! But they were like “WTF?”

      • Lance Newcomb - 9 years ago

        Yet 99% of listings are correct.

      • Xavier Poirot (@dalaen) - 9 years ago

        So you know it’s mistaken, yet you’re embarrassing yourself in front of your tax people like you didn’t know?

  2. danbridgland - 9 years ago

    It’s so pitiful that Google witholds features unless you sign-in and allow them to track your movements. Especially offline maps! since it’s very essence is to assist when without an internet connection.

  3. As if I needed more reasons to not use Apple Maps. Google Maps is superior in every regard. I wish Apple has just stayed away from maps. There was just no reason for Apple to spend so much money on an inferior product. Pride and ego can be expensive.

    • Oflife - 9 years ago

      Indeed. I tried to use it on my mother’s iPhone 4S the other day and it didn’t even have our (well known) UK destination listed, and ended up with the wrong directions. I hate to say it, but if even just a few destinations are missing, then for elderly people who may well rely upon such a service (powered by SIRI), it is a waste of time.

      We ended up using Google maps, which while aesthetically is not as pleasing as Apple maps, it is a lot better functionally, and that is what counts.

      • danbridgland - 9 years ago

        I accept that Apple Maps is not perfect. And still in the shade of Google’s mighty search results. But if you believe Google maps is faultless, then you are very misguided!

      • Oflife - 9 years ago

        Great pun, will done!

    • jeffcurb - 9 years ago

      It was not pride and ego that led Apple to develop their own map application. They developed it because Google demanded that they be able to track and collect user information from iPhone users as a condition of bringing the full-featured Google map app to iOS.

      I’m very happy Apple developed own their ad-free map app because I will never have a Google account. Google’s business model involves deeply invading their user’s privacy and littering their internet experience with advertisements. Many are not bothered by that. However, I choose not participate in their sleazy business model and am thankful to Apple for telling Google to piss-off and for providing a very nice alternative ad-free application that more than meets my needs.

      • zeromeus - 9 years ago

        Well said! I’ve been using Apple maps since its inception and I’m glad Apple dumped Google to develop their own map. People who are complaining about Apple’s map obviously haven’t use Apple’s map beyond iOS 6. That’s too bad for them. I’m happy with Apple’s map in every way.

      • Gregory Wright - 9 years ago

        Why sleazy?

    • Mike Knopp (@mknopp) - 9 years ago

      You might want to consider thanking Apple for making Maps. Unless you honestly think that Google would have implemented as many features as fast as they have since Apple released Maps without their being any real competition.

      It is a good thing that there are now two big competing navigation apps. If the market works like it should they will force each to get better, which is best for consumers. That being said, Apple is going to have to step up their game in mapping and navigation. Google is leaving them behind.

      • trustycow - 9 years ago

        This might be the only comment on here worth anything so far.

        Apple maps is good for everyone because it helps push innovation from google.

        Just wish I could set google maps the default for directions.

  4. dcj001 - 9 years ago

    “Google Maps continues to show why it’s the best app for directions on any platform… Google’s made it easier to save maps for offline use, allowing you to keep track of routes and other directions even if you don’t have a data connection”

    Tom Tom U.S.A. is infinitely better than Google Maps. Tom Tom U.S.A. always has the maps internally, and it works phenomenally without a data connection. There is always advance guidance as to which way to turn and which lane to be in, as shown below:

    It is great on the iPhone, and it is even better, because of the 9.7″ display, on the iPad (cellular – because of the GPS component). With the T-Mobile SIM card in an iPad, you get 200MB of data every 30 days, which allows for use of the traffic subscription with the Tom Tom U.S.A. app, which is a tremendous help!

    Plus – Tom Tom U.S.A. is currently on sale in Apple’s app store.

  5. Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 9 years ago

    Google Maps still really needs a night mode, as it’s dazzling to use when it’s dark. Also, an iOS 7 style interface would be nice, as it looks like an Android app at present. (as do all of Google’s iOS apps of course)

    • Eemeli Saarelainen - 9 years ago

      Uh, what??? Doesn’t the iOS version has it or what? Android-version certainly has automatic night mode. Maybe iOS doesn’t offer such functionality for third party apps, I don’t know.

      • certainly there is no restriction from app here. Google is free to implement that. Waze does that. Google just chose not to.

  6. Why the hell offline maps are not available in Brazil!?!?!? Just read the Help Docs and there must be 100 countries in there but not Brazil… the off-line option is not showing here.


  7. kMaps (@kMaps_) - 9 years ago

    Free offline maps with search, covering the entire world, and fits easily on most IOS devices.

  8. Piyali Garg - 8 years ago

    You can try “OK Maps” to save your maps for offline usage


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.