GOOGLE HAS ADDED a handful of new features to Google Maps apps for iOS and Android, including Uber integration and offline mode.
Google software engineering manager Jeffrey Hightower said in blog post on Tuesday, "When your life is moving fast, you need tools to keep up with your pace. Google Maps for mobile is the perfect travel companion for your daily commute, weekend errands, and (much-needed) vacations.
"Starting today, you now have even more ways to avoid life's everyday hiccups with Google Maps for Android and iPhone/iPad."
Uber integration is perhaps the most interesting addition to Google Maps. Those with the Uber app already installed on their smartphone or tablet can now compare journeys with public transit and walking routes in "some cities". If you decide to go with a cab, Maps will bring up the Uber app "with just one click". This feature likely will be limited to users in the US, but we've asked Google for more information.
If you're not going by taxi, Google has also improved the public transport information on its mobile apps.
Hightower explained, "With more than a million public transit stops on Google Maps, you'll get reliable information to help you get where you're going. 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."
The updated version of Google Maps for iOS and Android now lets you save maps for offline use, which is done by selecting a location, opening its information cards and selecting "save map to use offline".
Other new features introduced in the latest version of Google Maps include the ability to see which lane to stay in when driving, the option to view more information on bars and restaurants, such as opening hours and price, and the ability to save locations and share them between devices.
If you don't already have it, Google Maps is available to download for free from the iTunes Store and Google Play store. µ