Google has rolled out a major update for its Android and iOS mobile apps to integrate Uber taxi services, add offline support, improve local business search and more.
The latest update for Google Maps on Android and iOS smartphones brings a series of new features that makes overall travel experience simpler. Google announced one of the biggest updates to its mobile Maps app Tuesday, in a detailed blog by the company's Software Engineering Manager, Jeffrey Hightower. The changelog highlights important features like integration of Uber taxi services, offline support, local business search and more.
The update adds more value to the web giant's mapping service, which competes with Apple Maps and Nokia's Here maps.
Google adds offline support for its Maps so users can access saved routes even in places with an internet connection. With the added offline support, users can navigate to a location and select "Save map to use offline" and add a custom name so it can be accessed later. Users must sign in to access the saved maps and they will be accessible for only 30 days, which means the app erases the data to make space for more offline maps on the device.
In addition to the Oflline support, Google Maps shows detailed view of which lane to follow while getting driving directions on the map. This enables users to prepare for the next turn. The update also brings easy access to alternate routes so drivers can choose the best option.
Google's latest update also challenges the Yelp services, as users can "browse through restaurants, bars and hotels by opening hours, rating, price, and more," Hightower wrote. The announcement also includes a major integration with Uber taxi service, which allows users to directly jump into the Uber app with one click.
As Google focuses on new transit options, the update adds train listings with timings within the app.
"With more than a million public transit stops on Google Maps, you'll get reliable information to help you get where you're going," the Google Maps blog reads. "Next time you're in Chicago, search for directions to Lincoln Park Zoo, tap the train icon, and select "Depart at" to choose the time and day you want to leave-or even "last train home" for those night owls-so you get the most accurate transit information for your needs."