What you need to know
- Google Maps is getting a ton of new improvements, some specific to Apple.
- Apple Watch users will soon be able to start navigation from their wrists.
- New directional mapping improvements are coming to CarPlay and more.
Google has announced a slew of new updates and improvements that are set to make its Maps app a much better experience on iPhone and Apple Watch.
The new improvements were all laid bare in a blog post by Google Maps product manager Rubén Lozano-Aguilera. At the top of the list is new support for showing toll prices at almost 2,000 toll roads in the United States, India, Japan, and Indonesia. More countries will get the same support in due course, the announcement says.
Next up is improved navigation mapping that will soon show things like traffic lights and stop signs. These improvements will also come to the Google Maps CarPlay interface, making it a much better option for those driving around.
Beyond that, we have three more features that are all going to make Google Maps a better experience across Apple's devices — including support for starting navigation from an Apple Watch for the first time.
Google Maps is also gaining support for Spotlight, Siri, and Shortcuts to allow people to ask Siri for directions within the app for the first time.
Finally, we have new widgets that will make it easier to access pinned trips without having to first open the Google Maps app.
All of this will move Google Maps closer to being the best iPhone app for finding your way around, whether it's on public transport, on foot, or by car. All of these updates are rolling out over the next few weeks so keep your eye on the App Store for updates.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.