Big news for iPhone users, Google Maps for iOS has been updated. This update introduces two widgets to help users quickly navigate right from the home screen. In September 2020 one of the biggest new features that made its debut on iOS 14 was support for widgets. The use of widget which is something supposed to make the home screen overall feel a little bit more dynamic was something iOS users have been drooling over for years. While the dynamic part is still entirely debatable, especially because Apple doesn’t allow users to interact with widgets differently other than tapping them to launch the main app. The new Google Maps feature may quickly become a popular option for iPhone users.
Google Maps Version 5.74 is the one bringing iOS widgets, it has a standard widget called “Know before you go”. It can be used to determine your address to display things like traffic conditions, weather conditions for a specific location, store opening times, restaurant reviews, and everything else. As said, due to Apple’s widget restrictions, you can’t do anything else than tap the widget to launch Google Maps and see the displayed information on the entire screen. The second widget is called “Find places nearby,” and this time unlike the other, it’s a larger design that ultimately allows you to search Google Maps. You can see the home or work locations, find restaurants and gas stations nearby. But again, due to the fact that interaction options with widgets are very limited, tapping any of the displayed options automatically launches Google Maps on your iPhone.
Google says this is just “the first set of home screen widgets,” which most likely means, the company plans to launch more of them in the coming updates. Since a new version of iOS is due in September, hopefully, Apple will be making plans to improve the widget interaction options that actually let do so much without leaving the home screen.
Those who already have Google Maps installed can download the new update now. Everyone else can go get it via the App Store for free. Even if you’re an Apple Maps user, it never hurts to try more options when going on a trip. Once downloaded and installed, Google Maps lets you add its new widgets directly by tapping edit in the Today View or pressing the + icon in the editing mode on one of your Home Screens.