Google Maps Gets Uber Upgrade
Navigating unfamiliar places and hailing a cab is about to get easier, thanks to the latest upgrade to Google's Maps app for Android and iOS. The company today announced new features including offline support, lane guidance for drivers, filters for search results and Uber integration.
If you have the Uber app installed, Google Maps now lets you compare the duration of an Uber ride against other travel methods such as transit and walking. You can also open Uber from Maps with one tap to get your ride. It's unclear at this time if Google will eventually add any other apps such as Taxi Magic or Hailo.
We particularly like the Maps upgrade feature that adds offline support. You'll now be able to save a map before you set off on your trip and refer to it even after your Internet connection drops out. You can assign a name for each saved map, which will make frequently used routes or upcoming vacations available at a tap.
Drivers will appreciate the handy new lane guidance feature, which tells you which lane to stay in or move to in anticipation of an upcoming turn or exit. You can also see alternate routes while navigating so if you prefer a more scenic drive or want to pass a specific corner.
New filters let you arrange search results for places around you, such as bars, restaurants and hotels, by its opening hours, ratings, price and more when available. The app also now carries the "Depart At" feature that's already on the desktop browser version of Maps so you'll know exactly what time you should leave to get to your destination on time. Presumably this will tie into Google Now as well.
Other new features include viewing saved places (across all your signed in devices) and Street View from within the app.
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