Google Maps on iOS Gains ‘Follow’ Button So You Can Keep Track of Events and Offers From Local Businesses

Google Maps this week updated its iOS app with a new "Follow" feature, letting you keep track of events and news from your favorite local restaurants, bakeries, or bars. You can follow a location by searching for it in Google Maps on iOS, and then tapping "Follow" under the hours of operation.


After you follow a business, all of their updates then appear in the new "For You" tab of Google Maps. In this area, you can keep track of all the notable updates and promotions offered by the various companies you follow in the app.

This is a feature that has been on Google Maps for Android since last fall, and is now just rolling out to Apple device owners. It works in conjunction with Google's revamped My Business app, which also launched last fall, allowing businesses to post updates to their profiles on Google in the same fashion as a Facebook post or Tweet [Direct Link].

Because of this, many users can now turn to Google Maps as a sort of alternative to keeping up with their favorite local spots, if they've turned away from Facebook in recent months. These posts on Google Maps can include notifications about upcoming events, special offers for customers, menu updates, and more.

The Follow button in Google Maps is rolling out to all iOS users starting this week.


This article, "Google Maps on iOS Gains 'Follow' Button So You Can Keep Track of Events and Offers From Local Businesses" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Google Maps Begins Rolling Out Support for Driver Speed Limits and Speed Traps

Google is currently rolling out support for road speed limits and speed traps in its navigation app, Google Maps.

When drivers are using the app, the speed limit feature shows the speed limit of the road they are driving on in the lower left of the screen.

Image via Android Police

Speed traps are indicated with a small camera icon and shown on the visible map area. According to Android Police, Google Maps also gives drivers an audio warning as they approach a speed trap.

Up until now, Google restricted testing of its speed limit feature in the last couple of years to the San Francisco Bay Area in California and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Image via Mashable

However, Android Police was recently tipped about speed limit sightings in New York City and Los Angeles, all but confirming the rollout has already begun in the U.S.

The speed limit feature is initially limited to users in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and the United States, while the speed camera icons should soon start appearing for users in several additional countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Russia.

(Via Mashable.)


This article, "Google Maps Begins Rolling Out Support for Driver Speed Limits and Speed Traps" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Google Assistant Coming to Google Maps for iOS Today

Google is adding its Google Assistant feature to the Google Maps apps for iOS and Android, Google announced today.

The feature will be available on iPhones starting this afternoon, with Google planning to enable Assistant for Google Maps via an update that's rolling out "shortly."

On iOS and Android devices, Google Assistant will allow Google Maps users to control their navigation, reply to texts, and control music. On Android, it is also able to send messages through various messaging apps, a feature not available on iOS.

It can also do things like calculate your ETA so you can let friends and family know when you're set to arrive.

Google Assistant is already available on iOS devices through the dedicated Google Assistant app, but adding it into Maps makes it more readily accessible for the millions of people who already use the Google Maps app.


This article, "Google Assistant Coming to Google Maps for iOS Today" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Google Maps Expanding ‘For You’ Recommendations Tab to iOS in Over 40 Countries Today

Google today announced that its Google Maps app for iOS will be updated today with a new "For You" tab in over 40 countries.


"For You" was first announced at Google I/O in May and was initially limited to Android. The feature is designed to "tell you what you need to know about the neighborhoods you care about," such as new restaurants opening nearby, trending spots, and more, based on places you've rated and places you've visited.

The tab is accompanied by a new "Match Score" that predicts which restaurants you're most likely to prefer based on your personal preferences, which is designed to help you to choose between multiple restaurant suggestions.

iPhone users can install the update from the App Store later today. "For You" is also expanding to over 130 countries on Android today.


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Google Maps Gains Messaging Feature for Users to Chat With Local Businesses

A new feature rolling out for Google Maps will allow iOS and Android users to message local businesses with their queries without having to leave the GPS-based navigation app.

The feature is an extension of Google's real-time business-to-customer messaging service that the company introduced in select countries last year.

Businesses that signed up to the service include a Message button on their Business Profiles on Google Search allowing people to get in touch, and those same messages are set to appear in the side menu of Google Maps. This from the Google blog:

Sending messages to businesses gives you the opportunity to ask questions without having to make a phone call so that you can order a cake for your mom's birthday while on the bus or find out if a shoe store has your size without having to wait on hold.

Now you'll see your messages with the businesses you connect with via Business Profiles within the Google Maps app, where you're already looking for things to do and places to go or shop.
As part of the rollout, Google is also releasing a revamped Google My Business mobile app for iOS and Android that lets businesses browse their followers, reviews and messages, as well as create content for their business profile on Google.

The dual changes follow a recent update to Google Maps that introduced a new "Follow" button to let users track businesses and learn about promotions, events and, other news. The features are Google's attempt to rival Facebook Pages, which have been the more popular go-to for companies seeking to broadcast their outward-facing business activities online.

Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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Google Maps Can Now Help Users Find Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Google has announced it is introducing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to its Maps coverage, allowing EV drivers to see on the map where they can stop to recharge during their journeys.


Searching in Google Maps for keywords like "ev charging" or "EV charging stations" will display the nearest supported stations, including information on the types of ports available, charging speeds, and how many ports there are. However, there's currently nothing to tell you how many ports are currently occupied at a given station.

Typical location information is also provided for EV stations, so you can check out user-posted photos, ratings, reviews, and questions. Businesses that have charging stations will also feature links to information about the chargers.

The types of charging stations Google Maps supports around the world:
  • Global: Tesla, Chargepoint

  • US: SemaConnect, EVgo, Blink

  • UK: Chargemaster, Pod Point

  • AU & NZ: Chargefox
Google says the ability to search for electric vehicle charging stations is rolling out now on Android and iOS devices after users have updated the Maps app, with desktop support launching in the coming weeks.

Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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Google Maps on iPhone Getting New Commuting Features and Apple Music Integration This Week

Google Maps will soon feature an all-new Commute tab that provides one-tap access to live traffic and transit information.


The new tab will tell you if your commute is going to be a normal one, or if you'll need to budget extra time due to things like an accident or heavy traffic. Google is introducing support for mixed-mode commutes that involve both driving and public transit, with helpful information along each leg of the trip.

In addition, transit riders in 80 regions worldwide will be able to see exactly where their bus or train is in real time on the map. Starting in Sydney, Australia, Google Maps will also indicate how full the next bus or train is. Google says the latter feature will be coming to more cities around the globe soon.

Last, Google says it is making Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music playback controls accessible within Google Maps.

The new features will start rolling out globally on iOS and Android this week.


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Google Maps Makes it Easier to Decide on a Restaurant With New Group Planning Feature

Google today announced a new group planning feature for Google Maps on iOS and Android, which aims to make it easier for a group of friends to decide on a place to eat.

To use the feature, open Google Maps and tap "Restaurants" on the Explore tab. Then long press on any location to add it to a shortlist, shown in a small floating bubble on the lower right side of the screen. Once you add a few places you can share the shortlist with friends through any messaging app, like iMessages, which will then let them browse the list and link them back to Google Maps.


Friends can then vote in Google Maps on their favorite restaurant in the shortlist, and every member in the group can add and delete places. Voting results are showed in Google Maps, and if a group member doesn't have the app they can also view it on the web.
This may sound familiar: you and your friends are trying to pick a place for dinner, but no one wants to make the decision and you don't know where to go. How do you decide on a place that your BBQ aficionado bestie, quinoa-loving sister, and wannabe foodie friend can all enjoy without scrolling through a ton of links in group text messages?

Starting today, you can use Google Maps to easily plan where to go as a group
At Google I/O in May, Google outlined numerous features coming to Google Maps throughout the year, including AR Street View, a "For You" Tab, and this week's group planning feature. Recently, Google Maps on iOS also updated with an events section and elevation data, and introduced CarPlay support in iOS 12.

Group planning will start rolling out on iOS and Android this week.


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Google Maps App Updated With New Events Section and Elevation Data for Walking and Cycling Routes

Google Maps received an update today that introduces a couple of potentially useful new features, including a new section that lists notable events happening nearby.

The new Events section lives at the bottom of the Explore tab, where users can find a variety of things listed depending on what's going on in their location.


Google says Events that appear in the new section can include everything from late night comedy shows to movie screenings in the local park.

Also new in version 4.57, cycling and walking directions now feature a handy elevation chart, offering users an idea of how much physical effort they can expect to exert for the route in question.

Elevation information has been available for some time on the Google Maps website, so having the data in-app should come as a welcome addition.

Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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Google Maps for iOS Updated With ‘Match’ Customized Restaurant Recommendations

Google Maps was today updated with a new "Match" feature that's designed to offer up personalized restaurant recommendations based on a user's customized tastes.

The Match option allows users to tap on a food or drink spot to see if they're likely to enjoy a new spot based on past restaurant visiting history. The update also includes a list of how many restaurants have been visited in the Explore tabs trending feature.

Thanks for using Google Maps!

- Our new "match" feature will help you find your one true love. And by love, we mean your next favorite cheeseburger. Tap on a food or drink spot to see how likely you are to enjoy it based on your unique preferences - so you can spend more time eating and less time searching for places to go.

- When viewing trending lists in the Explore tab, you can now see how many restaurants you've been to. Keep discovering and going to new places to complete a list!
Google's Match feature was first outlined in May at Google I/O, and it rolled out for Android users in June before expanding to iOS users today.

Recommendations will take into account food and drink preferences selected in Google Maps, places you've been to, and places you've rated or added to a list. Scores for restaurants will get smarter over time with usage.

Google Maps can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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