Today, Google Maps announces the release of three feature updates to its iOS app. These updates include a new widget, live location sharing, and even a dark mode. With all this update put together, it’s safe to say Google Maps is positioning itself as a stronger competitor to iOS’ native Apple Maps. The Dark Mode on iOS especially comes nearly two years after Apple rolled out dark mode as part of iOS 13. The feature which arrives in the coming weeks should be welcome for when you’re using the app at night or in dark environments. The app will also support widgets and will offer two different options: one that shows the traffic conditions near you and another that has shortcuts for Google Maps’ search bar and places like your home or restaurants near you.
A Google spokesperson talks about the new features for Google Maps. He explains that shortcuts are personalized based on a variety of factors, like your location, saved places, interests, and past searches. He also said, “The widgets have already rolled out to me, and I noticed that the shortcuts on mine differed from the ones shown in the above press image”. Google will also soon let you share your live location from iMessage, which could be a handy way to tell your friends or family in a group chat where you are. By default, your location will only be shared for an hour, but you can share it for up to three days if you’d like.”
It’s also gathered that Live location sharing was already possible in Google Maps — by tapping on the blue dot that shows where you are. You can share with selected friends your ETA to your destination, and even how much battery life your phone has. But the Google Maps iMessage widget makes it easier to share your location without navigating away from your conversation. By default, Google Maps will share your location for one hour, but it’s also possible to extend sharing up to three days. For users who want to stop sharing, tap the “stop” button on the thumbnail.
In 2019, Google Maps added the traffic and incident report features to its app. This feature made the app more appealing for driving commuters. One of the “most powerful features is the ability to see live traffic conditions in an area.” Now, users with the latest Google Maps app for iOS will be able to add a traffic widget to their home screen, and can quickly share what traffic is like in their area. The widget also allows users to set frequent destinations, like home, work, or the gas station, and navigate to those places with just a single tap. Interesting I suppose? Though Google Maps already has dark mode on Android, this feature will also roll out to iOS users in the coming weeks.
To turn on dark mode, the user is expected to go to the settings menu, tap on dark mode, and then tap “on.” And if you want Google Maps to flip between light and dark mode to match your system settings, you’ll be able to do that as well. Read more about Google maps here