Google Maps for iOS gains Travel Times widget, Night mode and other new features in latest update

Google Maps Travel Transit widget iPhone screenshot 001

Google yesterday pushed an update for its native Maps application on the App Store, bringing out a few newsworthy features and enhancements.

Google Maps 4.18 for iOS introduces a new Travel Times widget which lets commuters check a live travel time estimation to their home or work right within the Notification Center’s Today view.

In addition, the app’s gained a new built-in option for sharing directions with contacts. Plus, there’s a brand new Night mode and distance units settings in navigation.

Travel Times

Like other third-party widgets for the Notification Center’s Today view, Travel Times must be manually enabled. Pull down from the top of any Home screen to bring up the Notification Center. At the bottom of the Today view, tap Edit and then hit the plus sign next to Travel Times to enable the widget.

Estimates are based on your Home and Work locations that can be customized within the Google Maps mobile app or in the web interface. The widget lets you toggle between driving and public transit times. Tapping either destination will launch the Google Maps app and start navigation from your current location, which is quite handy.

Just don’t confuse the new Travel Times widget with Google Maps’ existing Nearby Transit Notification Center widget for seeing local transit information pertaining to your current location.

Google Maps Travel Transit widget iPhone screenshot 002

RELATED: How to download areas in Google Maps for offline use

A customizable Night mode, available through in-app settings, can be set to intelligently swap between day and night mode based on the time of day, but you can now also set the color scheme to whichever you prefer.

Pricing and availability

Google Maps requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 7.0 or later and includes a native watchOS 2 app for your Apple Watch with turn-by-turn navigation.

The iOS app is localized in English, Arabic, Catalan, Chinese (Hong Kong), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.

Download Google Maps for free on the App Store.

Screenshots via MacRumors and LifeHacker.