2014 Google Maps Update

Google Maps, especially its Street View function, has redefined the way we use maps. The tech giant just launched an update for its mobile app on Android and iOS with a variety of useful, new features.

For city dwellers, Google has several major upgrades for the software. First, it now works with vehicle-for-hire service Uber. If users have its app, Google Maps compares the driving time versus walking. If people prefer to ride, they can launch Uber directly. The new version also promises more information about public transportation with data for over a million stops. You can even access transit schedules in some cities from within the program, and a "last train home" option helps prevent getting stuck far from home late at night. The company also claims specifics about restaurants, bars and hotels now include useful details like opening hours, rating, price, and more. Finally, you can now save landmarks to visit later.

The update isn't only focused on users in urban environments; it's helping travelers too. The app can now indicate which lane to be in during trips. Although many pieces of GPS software have offered this feature for a while. Google also promises more alternate route information so more adventurous folks get off the interstate and enjoy the country. A new offline mode also lets people save maps of specific areas to access at any time, which could be useful while abroad, or when out in nature.

The upgrade launches today. Scroll down to read the full list of new features.
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Get on the road, go off the grid, or plan the perfect weekend with the Google Maps app
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 8:53 AM

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:

Don't miss your next turn or exit. The Google Maps app now shows you which lane to stay in or move to so you'll never find yourself driving for miles down the wrong road. You'll also have easy access to alternate routes while you're navigating, so you can choose the best drive for you. To learn more about lane guidance availability, click here.

Don't worry if you're not online. Before setting off on your next vacation, hike, or roadtrip, search for an area and tap on its place info sheet, then when available, you can select "Save map to use offline," and give your map a custom name, like "Toronto Vacation." To find your offline maps, sign-in, tap the profile icon next to the search box in the top right corner, and scroll to see "Toronto Vacation" and other saved maps.

Don't be late for last call. With new filters, you can browse through restaurants, bars and hotels by opening hours, rating, price, and more-where available-to find just what you're looking for, right when you need it.

Don't limit your options. Frequent Uber rider? If you have the Uber app installed, you can now compare your ride with transit and walking directions right from Google Maps in some cities. And if you choose the Uber option, you'll jump right into the Uber app with just one click.

Don't miss that train. 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.

Don't forget the park you wanted to visit. See places you've saved on Google Maps across all your devices when you're signed in. And if you find a place you want to save on the go, search for the location you're interested in, tap on the place card, and hit the star icon to save the location for later.

Don't wait to explore your next vacation spot. Search for your ideal destination-anywhere from the Gateway Arch to the Taj Mahal-then tap on the place card to dive into Street View where available. You might even get a peek inside some hotels, restaurants, and more.

So, next time you're caught up in a whirlwind of activity, make navigating your world a little easier. Take a moment to grab your phone, open up the Google Maps app, and find all you need to search, navigate and explore the world around you. Don't worry-we've got you covered.

Posted by Jeffrey Hightower, Software Engineering Manager