Google Maps has long been a top competitor in the navigation game, and Google isn’t planning to give up on that competition anytime soon. This is why they constantly strive to improve the app, and in that effort, Maps is releasing a new set of updates. These are designed specifically to improve the user experience, so you might see some changes you like. Everything you need to know is explained below.
Check Toll Prices Before You Leave
This was the first entry on the Google blog explaining all of the new updates, so you know they’re excited about it. The concept is simple enough; Google Maps is now pulling toll information from highway departments and other reliable sources.
With that compiled information, you can see toll prices while you plan your route. More importantly, you can see the estimated total price of toll roads for your complete route. This allows you to optimize your trip based on how much you want to pay vs how much time or energy you might save by using a toll road.
And, if you prefer no toll roads at all, that feature is still alive and well. You can avoid toll roads as you see fit.
New Map Details
The in-app map is getting some much-needed attention. While Google regularly updates Maps, things have looked relatively the same for a long time. Now, the entire aesthetic isn’t being reimagined, but some new aesthetic features should change the experience considerably.
The biggest change is that you can now see traffic lights and stop signs within the app’s map. This makes it easier to anticipate when you need to stop. .It can also help you identify exactly where to turn (or where not to turn).
Additionally, building outlines and points of interest have been added to the map aesthetic .In some cities, you will even be able to see the shape and width of the road. Overall, these are some big changes to the look and feel of the app.
Google has invested some time and effort on improving the iOS experience specifically. With a few new features, it’s easier to see the app and use it. For instance, you can finally use Google Maps with Siri, which should be a nice quality of life improvement. Maps is now available on Apple Watch too.
The new widgets make it easier to get to Google Maps from the home screen. You can pin your widget, and it will be able to show you your arrival time from the home screen. You can also set up a widget that shows your suggested route right there. So, you no longer have to be in the Maps app to see what you need for navigation. Everything is more accessible and easier to use.
If you wear an Apple Watch, you might find this exciting. Soon (Google hasn’t given an exact date yet) you will be able to use Google Maps navigation directly from your watch. You won’t need to use your phone at all. You can tap on the shortcut for Maps on your watch, and it will get started.
Most importantly, this will work even when you aren’t near your phone.
Siri and Spotlight
If you ever wanted to use Siri to navigate with Google Maps, it’s now an option. First, you will need to set up Google Maps in your shortcuts (you can find instructions here). Once you do, Siri will be able to find and use the app for you. On top of that, adding Maps to your shortcuts will open it up to Spotlight search results.
New updates are exciting for any longtime fans of Google Maps. Play with the changes and see how you like them!