Google Maps just launched three new updates that will make Apple users very happy. By Andrea Romano
The three new features include enhanced location sharing, getting important information more efficiently, and giving your eyes a break when you truly need it.
The first feature allows users to share their live location directly in the iMessage app. So, if you’re texting a friend when you’ll be meeting up with them, you can actually be accurate instead of saying, “Be there in five minutes,” for 20 minutes straight. In order to access this feature, tap on the Google Maps button in iMessage, and your location is shared instantly, for one hour or up to three days (depending on how long you want to give your live location). To end sharing, simply tap the “stop” button located on the thumbnail.
The second feature gives you the most important travel information you need as fast as possible. The new “Nearby Traffic” widget shows live traffic conditions in your location, so you don’t need to sweat being late to an appointment, school, work, or any place you’re off to because you can see it all with just a glance. In addition, you can search Google Maps directly from the Google Maps widget, so finding the best restaurant to eat at in your area is as simple as a tap.
In order to install either of these widgets, touch and hold a widget or an empty area on your home screen until your apps jiggle. Then, tap the “+” button in the upper-left corner, search for and tap the Google Maps app, swipe to select the widget you want, tap Add Widget, tap Done, and voila — a brand new widget to make your life a little easier.
And speaking of easy, if you experience screen fatigue, low battery, or just like to make your phone look a little darker and more mysterious, you can soon switch to dark mode on Google Maps, much like you can do with other apps and through your iOS settings. In order to turn it on, head to your Settings, tap on dark mode, then select, “On.” Dark mode will roll out to users in the coming weeks.
To download the Google Maps app, visit the Apple App Store.
Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.