Google's latest Maps update is packed with features to challenge Apple's own iOS mapping app, including improved iPad support, better travel and traffic information plus improved indoor coverage.
For A Better View of the Street
The version 2.0 update to the iOS version of Google's Maps app has arrived with native iPad support to make use of the bigger screen space. For those still glued to their iPhones on the roads and sidewalks, there's now live traffic and road incident reports to help navigate the perils of modern commuting.
For those on foot, deals are being promoted via Google Offers that you might find attractive, and if you're lost in some new super-mall or transit hub, then indoor directions and maps for shops, airports and other major areas are being added. Those using pedal power can find bicycle routes via an option on the main menu.
Exploring is all part of the fun with these maps apps, and if you're in a new location then users can the Explore features to find popular local places to eat, drink, shop, play and rest up. You can search for "Japanese Food near Westminster" to find a good Tokyo-style diner in London, or similar and get reviews, opening times and other handy info in seconds.
Around the World
Your mileage from the app may vary around the world, but most metropolitan areas are now full to bursting with street views and navigation, while traffic reports are indicated as not available in all countries, yet.
If you haven't tried the app before, there's also tours of cities, reminders of places you use, settings for work and home, for easy searching around those locations and much more. The 2.0 app for iOS is still light on a few features found in the Android version, with on-the-fly trip recalculation and rerouting likely to arrive in a later update.
There's also no sign of the Waze integration from one of Google's recent acquiisitions that will help improve the traffic handling of the app. While Apple celebrates five years of the App Store, you have to wonder how they feel about its own apps being out-gunned by those of its fiercest rival?