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

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?