Google Maps for iPhone updated with faster local search, Google Contacts integration and more

By , Mar 5, 2013

Google Maps 1.1 for iOS (teaser 001)

Google Tuesday morning pushed a new version of its native Google Maps application for the iPhone and iPod touch. It’s the first update since the Internet giant released a standalone Maps software for Apple’s platform in December 2012, racketing up ten million downloads in just two days and becoming the App Store’s top free iPhone app in no time. New features in Google Maps version 1.1 for iOS include integration with Google Contacts, local search icons that make finding places of interest faster and easier and more…

As explained in a Google blog post, the new local search icons for restaurants, coffee shops, bars and more are pretty self-explanatory in that they give visual clues to narrowing down search queries to specific businesses.

The Next Web has the screenies of the new local search icons.

Google Maps 1.1 for iOS (search icons, The Next Web 002)Google Maps 1.1 for iOS (search icons, The Next Web 001)

And if you’re signed-in with your Google Account, the app will now provide your contact’s addresses as suggestions.

By the way, Google: how about letting us search contacts on our phone?

I’m also baffled that Google Maps still has some issues remembering recent searches, at least in my experience.

In addition to Google Contacts integration and faster local searching, this update also lets you choose between kilometers and miles in the app’s settings menu.

Here’s your changelog:

• search your Google Contacts; sign in to have your saved addresses show up when you search for friends and family by name
• quickly search for local places by selecting popular categories such as restaurants, bars, cafes, gas stations, etc.
• choose between Kilometers or Miles for your preferred distance units
• note that some features may not be available in all countries

Google Maps is available free from the App Store, with the English version rolling in seven new countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Here’s Google’s video from two weeks ago highlighting a few useful Maps tips.

Unfortunately, Google Maps 1.1 does not support iPads natively, but we have no doubt in our mind that it’s coming soon. Oh, if you’re jailbroken, Ryan Petrich’s FullForce tweak will take care of that.

And as commenters pointed out, you should also check out the AssistantLove tweak that lets one choose their go-to GPS app to launch when using Siri for directions.

Google last month updated its Maps software development kit (SDK) to allow Apple’s iOS developers to integrate its mapping data into their apps, add ground overlays, and enhance their wares with other Google-branded mapping tools.

So, do you still use Google Maps as your go-to mapping solution on iOS or did you switch back to Apple’s own Maps?

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  • TesticularFortitude

    I use them both actually.

  • Isa Altintas

    To be honest, Google Maps was literally a daily driver for me for several years (work, private..). But after buying an iPhone 5 I really liked what Apple did with it’s maps app configuration and turn by turn navigation. Been using that for a few months now and don’t have the need for Google Maps. Didn’t try the app after the latest update though but before, iOS’ Maps really loads so much faster for me.

  • http://twitter.com/MHCsk MHCsk

    And still no iPad support. Thank God for Ryan Petrich’ FullForce tweak.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Cawthorne/1711701718 David Cawthorne

      Hi, you should try EggMapsHD for the iPad, it uses Google’s map data and has street view too

  • http://rabahrahil.com/ Rabah Rahil

    My Nav line up is Waze for the short to medium trips and Motion-X GPS Drive for long road trips. Not having contact integration was a deal breaker for me with Google Maps…super happy about this update :)

    Pro Tip: If you are jailbroken download a tweak called AssitantLove and you can choose your preferred GPS app to launch when using Siri for directions!

  • http://twitter.com/warrenskipper Warren Skipper

    Smh, I’m surprised it took them this long to add Google Contacts integration. I rarely use Google Maps because of it. Don’t know if it’ll make a difference now as Apple Maps has been quite adequate for me.

  • Tom Canuck

    Since Google wont let me use on device contacts I took the plunge into Apple Maps and tucked Google off in a folder on my last page. Keep it just in case Apple lets me down…

  • http://twitter.com/DvdGman David Gitman

    When will they fix the lag issues on iphone 4?

  • Tr1pTr0p

    How to install an app that is not available in my region? -_-

  • iDon’tWantToShareMyDetails

    It lags like a motherfucker on iPhone 4 and mind you its not such an old device. It appears every Google app is lagging terribly on older devices (Gmail, Maps). It goes to wonder how such a big software giant can release this shameful turd?

  • Tyilo

    After updating the app, it just crashes on launch. Any fix for this?

  • T Dot

    i do not see how contact are integrated…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Antonio-Gzz/100001847768813 Antonio Gzz

    I know, my iPhone4 is slow compared with iPhone5,
    but iOS apple maps load faster than this google maps(laggy on my device).
    I still with iOS apple maps, more smoth and I like his simple design.

  • http://www.facebook.com/omar.bishara Omar J. Bishara

    i live in israel and still cant find google maps in my app store !

  • Dave Elg

    The prior version’s lack of any contacts integration was the deal breaker for me. I’m thrilled they have that fixed now. I probably won’t be using Apple’s app anymore.

  • http://twitter.com/reloadedhead Tom García

    It’s really laggy on iPhone 4.. And I still can’t believe the app has not integration with the contacts app.