Jul 20, 2013 (05:07 AM EDT)
Google Maps Updated: 10 Cool Features
Read the Original Article at InformationWeek
Google Maps isn't just for the iPhone anymore. Users of the Apple iPad now have their own dedicated version of the latest iteration of the app, Google Maps for iOS. Android users aren't left out in the cold either: Google launched a version of Google Maps for Android just last week.
The new version for iOS offers users enhanced search and navigation tools for exploring both local and far-away destinations. In a recent blog post, Daniel Graf, the director of Google Maps, described version 2.0 as the "first dedicated iPad mapping experience." This is the first version of Google Maps to be optimized for the iPad. It features a full-screen design and Street View, which has been available to iOS users since October 2012 and to iPhone users since last December. The larger tablet-screen layout allows you to map your journey and navigate with ease.
In his post, Graf explained how the new Google Maps lends itself to traveling by car. As you travel, the app announces directions and what is happening on the road in real time. If you prefer public transportation, you'll appreciate the app's schedules for train and bus stations around the world. Version 2.0 also provides appropriate directions for bicyclists on over 330,000 miles of bike lanes, trails and paths around the world.
Improvements go beyond a larger tablet screen and improved navigation capabilities. Version 2.0 not only makes it easier to travel from point A to point B but also provides suggestions for places to stop along the way. The Explore feature points out places to eat, drink, shop, sleep and be entertained as you travel. Tap the search box and a set of cards will appear to show popular local places. Even if you aren't on the road, you could easily use Explore to discover new eateries or attractions in your area.
For each restaurant, bar or cafe found in Explore the app provides restaurant reviews and ratings from Zagat and Google+ users.
Google Maps also now features mobile offers and discounts from national brands such as Macy's and Michael's. Offers are available on the map screen for easy access, but some of the features are not available in all countries.
Want to see some of these functions in action? Click through to see how the new Google Maps can benefit you.
The new Google Maps uses voice-guided navigation and turn-by-turn directions to talk you through a trip. It also keeps you updated on traffic, construction, accidents or anything else that might cause delays on the road.
Google Maps for iOS 2.0 doesn't just tell you how to get where you're going. It also provides detailed indoor and outdoor images of your destination so you can recognize it upon arrival.
If you use public transportation, you know how frustrating it is to miss a scheduled departure. Google Maps now tells you when to expect the next one. The new app features train and bus schedules for more than 1 million public transportation stops around the globe.
Google Maps makes it easy to search for nearby food, drinks, lodging or entertainment. Results appear right on the map, with icons depicting type of location and font size increasing with relevancy.
On tablets and desktops, info cards provide a quick and easy way to learn more about bars, restaurants and cafes. The cards also provide easy access to directions and an option to save the location for later use.
Explore is a great tool for tourists and locals alike. Regardless of where you are or what you want to do, Explore can help you choose from local restaurants, coffee shops, shopping malls, movie theaters, gyms, museums or hotels. Looking for a place to eat? You can narrow your search by browsing lists focused on local favorites, fast food or bakeries. The "Popular with Tourists" selection is helpful if you're visiting a new city. You can also search for food according to type of cuisine.
In addition to listing nearby food and entertainment, the Explore feature offers Zagat ratings and customer reviews for each location. If you're a Google+ user, you can narrow your options with the "From your circles" category and see only the places your friends have visited or reviewed.
Now you can get a view from above with Google Earth; simply choose the option from the left menu. On the satellite map, prominent locations are featured in large print. Nearby sightseeing options are shown at the bottom of the screen.
Interested in a particular Google Earth location? Zoom in for a firsthand look at its surrounding area. Use the onscreen tools to tilt the picture for different perspectives. This feature is useful to familiarize yourself with a distant location before a trip.