Google Maps has updated its app for iPhone and iPad. The new version adds features and content and even makes the app more visually appealing.
The new version includes the following improvements:
- Search results appear with descriptions on the map
- Easy switching between map and list view of results
- Reservations via Gmail indicated on map (and list view)
- Improved Explore browsing experience (based on nearby locations)
This is not mentioned among the official upgrades (maybe I missed it previously) but I just noticed the capacity to filter search results in various categories such as hotels, restaurants and rental cars. I found this also extended to some service business categories such as “landscaper.”
All of these changes aim to make Google Maps a more useful local search and nearby discovery tool, not simply a way to get directions and navigation from A to B. In so doing Google is taking increasingly direct aim at apps such as Yelp and even Hotels.com or TripAdvisor (e.g., hotel prices are posted in results).
While Google Maps isn’t yet a complete replacement such apps, Google’s ability to integrate your search history, Google Now/notifications, location and Gmail content gives it a potential competitive advantage over time.
According to the most recent comScore data, Google Maps is the 6th most popular/widely used app in the U.S.