Google Maps - Everything you need to know!

Google Maps is an alternative mapping service to Apple's native Maps app. It's also got about a decade more experience under its belt. Though Apple Maps is a worthy adversary, and continues to improve constantly, Google Maps has been the go-to service for a lot of people. If you want to know more about Google Maps, here's everything you need to know.

What's new with Google Maps?

Check back here for the latest updates in Google Maps news.

May 8, 2018 - Google Maps to add personalized recommendations, AR Street View, and more

This morning at the Google I/O 2018 developer conference in Mountain View, California, Google announced a myriad of improvements soon coming to Google Maps (among tons of other cool stuff.) These improvements include a brand new section chock full of recommendations just for you, tools to help you better plan get-togethers with your friends and family, AR street view, and more.

Google's new recommendations section — called simply "For You" — is slated to roll out this summer. It's basically made to show you new places in your area that you might like, and will let you know about restaurants opening up near you, the new hottest spots to check out, and any other cool haunts that may be of interest to you based on places you've already been and places you've rated positively. It'll even show you how well your personal tastes will match up with restaurants you've never been to, providing you with some much-needed assistance when answering one of the most dreaded questions of all time: "What do you want to eat?"

What's more, if you and your friends (or family, or theatre troupe, or D&D group, or whoever else you hang around) are having a difficult time choosing a place to go, Google Maps will help you settle it with a real-time vote. All you have to do is long press on a location you may want to visit and select the option to to add it to a list, which you then can send to your companions (who can also add their own suggestions). Once everyone's finished giving their two cents, you can all vote on where to meet.

Finally, Google also announced a feature that may prove to be incredibly helpful for individuals who struggle to read traditional maps: an AR Street View version of walking directions. Just like in a sci-fi movie, you'll be able to see an AR information overlay as you walk to your destination that will tell you exactly where and when to turn, where you're headed next, and what locations and streets are in your vicinity, keeping you as in-the-know as possible while navigating.

For more information on other announcements Google made today, I'd check out Android Central's Google I/O 2018 hub.

March 18, 2018 - Check out the first set of AR games built on the new Google Maps gaming API

With Google's recent announcement and release of gaming APIs for Google Maps, which allow developers to better integrate real world locations into their games, three previously-announced augmented reality games have been revealed to be powered by Google Maps.

Jurassic World Alive places AR dinosaurs at real locations, marked on the game's map, which you can go and find by heading to that location in the real world, much like Pokémon Go, with some dinosaurs also existing exclusively in a single specific geographic location. The Walking Dead: Our World is an action game that pits you against walkers in real-world environments, fighting beside AR companion characters, and giving you the ability to explore to find nests of walkers, new weapons, and other collectibles. Finally, Ghostbusters World takes a similar path, letting you find ghosts to bust on the game map, sending you to real locations to fight and then trap your spectral enemies in augmented reality.

These games are all due out later this year.

What is Google Maps?

Google Maps

Google Maps features driving, walking, and transit directions for both the iPhone and iPad, complete with voice guided GPS navigation. Google Maps is available in over 220 countries and territories with transit directions included for over 15,000 major cities around the world. Google Maps also comes with Google's popular Street View feature built right in to help you find exactly what you're looking for. It gives real-time estimated time of arrival using current traffic conditions and provides alternate faster routes whenever possible, even during mid-travel.

You can use Google Maps to get you around town when walking, biking, taking public transportation, and even hailing a ride from Uber or Lyft.

How to get Google Maps on your iPhone or iPad

Google Maps is an iOS app available in the App Store for free. You don't have to sign up or subscribe. You can use Google Maps anonymously, or by signing in with your Google account.

Download in the App Store

How do I sync my Google account to Google Maps?

If you have a Google account (like from Gmail, Hangouts, Google Play, or YouTube), you can sign in with your Google credentials and keep your data synced across all devices you use, including Macs and PCs, windows phones, and Android phones. Depending on what permissions you give, you can save maps you've searched for on your computer, get directions to someone in your Contacts, and save favorite locations to easily find in the future.

If your Google account is already synced with your iPhone, it will automatically appear in Google Maps. You can also sign in manually.

To sign in to your Google account,

  1. Launch Google Maps on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the Menu icon in the upper left corner. It looks like three stacked lines.
  3. Tap Choose an account.
  4. Tap your Google Account and sign in.
  5. If you don't see your Google account listed, tap Add account.
  6. Enter your Google account email or phone number.
  7. Tap Next.
  8. Enter your Google account password.
  9. Tap Next.

You'll be logged in and ready to go.

How to use Google Maps

Google Maps

Google Maps is fairly easy to use, but there are a lot of unique and useful features that can make your navigation experience a whole lot better. If you sign in with your Google account, you can also sync searches from websites, save your home, work, and other addresses, and more.

Troubleshooting Google Maps

If you're having trouble getting Google Maps to work for you, please let us know by posting a comment and we'll update this post with detailed information on how to fix the problem.

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).