Search, Save Maps Easily In The Updated Google Maps App

Google Maps Update

Google Maps update 3.0 for Android and iOS is one of the biggest updates to the Maps app ever. The update introduces ground-breaking features like Lane Guidance in navigation, a feature that was once exclusive to expensive GPS trackers from the likes of TomTom and Gramin.

In urban areas where one lane streets are a normality and where crossings look like a puzzle game, this feature is going to be really helpful.

There are a lot more goodies spread across this app update. You’ve got detailed transit stats, Uber integration and improved search functionality. But a lot of these features are US specific, as it is with new features. But hopefully, the testing run will be successful and soon enough the 95% of world population that doesn’t live in America will get access to it.

Native Offline Maps Support

When Google killed off Reader, at least I understood why they did it, however narrow-minded the decision was ( recap: to push Google+ as a news delivery system). But the decision to hide a simple option that allowed you to download the local map for offline use was hard to comprehend. Easter eggs are for trivial details, Google. You don’t turn features into Easter eggs.

Screenshot 2014 05 07 17 33 10 Border Maker
Screenshot 2014 05 07 17 10 05 Border Maker

Before this update you had to enter the command “OK Maps” to download the local map. Only, the feature wasn’t documented anywhere and if you don’t spend most of your time reading and writing about technology, you’d be forgiven to believe no such thing ever existed.

But with 3.0 update, Google has made things right. Now, just tap on the Search bar (you don’t even need to search for anything), scroll down to the bottom of the menu and you’ll find an option highlighted in blue called “Make this map area available offline”. On iOS 7 it says “Save map to use offline”.

2014 05 07 17 40 43 Border Maker

Now, the onscreen map area has been saved and you can reference to it any time.

Improved Search

Searching for places and restaurants has been improved in the updated app.

In the iPhone app you can filter your search results according to user ratings. So for example, choosing 4 star and up only gets you the best places (according to user reviews).

2014 05 07 17 46 05 Border Maker
2014 05 07 17 46 17 Border Maker

Weirdly enough, I couldn’t find this functionality anywhere in the Android app. If you know anything about it, let me know in the comments.

Restaurant Timings

Maps now tells you what time a restaurant is open, because the last thing you want to do is reach a pizza place at 11:02 PM.

Screenshot 2014 05 07 17 49 34 Border Maker
Screenshot 2014 05 07 17 49 45 Border Maker

When you search for any restaurant, the timing for the day will be show right there in the bottom of the card. Select a restaurant and tap More Info to see the timing for the entire week.

A Better Maps Experience

The best maps app just got a lot better. More so if you live in the homeland of NSA. Let us know about your experience with the app in the comments below.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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