It’s been a long time coming, but Google has finally unveiled an iPad-friendly version with the release of Google Maps for iOS 2.0. It seems like an age now since Apple dropped native support for Google Maps with the release of iOS 6, but even with the improvements to its own mapping service, iPad users will be clamouring to install this.
The update follows hot on the heels of the recently released Google Maps for Android 7.0 and also features many of the enhancements and improvements unveiled in that update.
The key new feature is – of course – native support for iPad. Other changes include a redesigned interface, practically identically to the simple, clean one sported in both Google Maps for Android 7.0 and Google Maps for Desktop. It provides a single search box with buttons for directions and accessing the user’s personal geographic data. Two buttons provide additional functionality – the Hotdogs button to its left reveals options for showing traffic, public transport, cycling, satellite imagery or switching to Google Earth, while users can centre the map on their device’s current location via the button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
Other improvements – which apply also to the iPhone version – include better navigation through improved reporting of live traffic updates and incidents. One related feature that hasn’t yet made it across from the Android version is the ability of the app to reroute directions on the fly based on this information – expect it to follow in a future update.
A new Explore option helps users locate local places to eat, drink, shop, sleep or visit, backed up by five-star ratings from friends, plus reviews from the the Zagat.com restaurant reviews site. Google’s also keen to promote a new feature offering “great deals from your favourite brands” with Google Offers.
The final update sees indoor maps with walking directions for malls, stations, airports and other large areas.
Google Maps for iOS 2.0 is available free now for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad running OS 6 or later.