Google Maps on iOS adds live location sharing in iMessage, home screen widget, dark mode

Google Maps announced today three characteristic updates to its iOS app. With reside location sharing within the iMessage app, a visitors widget for the house display screen and darkish mode, Google Maps is positioning itself as a stronger competitor towards iOS’ native Apple Maps.

Stay location sharing was already potential in Google Maps — by tapping on the blue dot that exhibits the place you might be, you possibly can share with choose buddies your ETA to your vacation spot, and even how a lot battery life your telephone has. However the Google Maps iMessage widget makes it simpler to share your location with out navigating away out of your dialog. By default, Google Maps will share your location for one hour, nevertheless it’s potential to increase to as much as three days — if you wish to cease sharing, faucet the “cease” button on the thumbnail.

Picture Credit: Google Maps

Google Maps’ present iMessage widget permits customers to ship GPS coordinates of their location in iMessage — however in case you’re attempting to fulfill up with buddies, this wouldn’t be as helpful as sharing a reside location. Apple Maps already has an analogous characteristic constructed into iMessage, so Google is taking a leaf out of Apple’s guide to attempt to beat them on their very own app. For a very long time, Google Maps was broadly thought-about to be the superior navigation app, however in 2018, Apple fully rebuilt Maps from the ground up, making it extra aggressive. Plus, as iOS 15 rolls out, Apple Maps will add AR performance, higher public transit options, extra detailed maps and different enhancements.

Google Maps added Waze-like traffic and incident report features to its app in 2019, which made it extra interesting for driving commuters — the app says that certainly one of its “strongest options is the power to see reside visitors situations in an space.” Now, customers with the most recent Google Maps app will have the ability to add a visitors widget to their dwelling display screen, which may shortly share what visitors is like of their space. The widget additionally permits customers to set frequent locations, like dwelling, work or the fuel station, and navigate to these locations with only a faucet. Although the app already has dark mode on Android, this characteristic will even roll out to iOS customers within the coming weeks.

As Google Maps and Apple Maps compete to develop into the perfect navigation app, an unlikely competitor is available in Snapchat, which has created a extra social expertise on its Snap Map. Final week, Snapchat added the My Places characteristic to the Snap Map, which helps customers discover new spots to go to primarily based on the exercise of different customers of their space. The ephemeral messaging app additionally introduced on the finish of July that in Q2 of 2021, the platform grew each income and day by day lively customers on the highest charges it has achieved within the final 4 years. Nonetheless, as of final 12 months, Google Maps had over 1 billion worldwide customers.

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