The maps application included with iPhone and iPad does a great job at navigation and 3D maps, but the data is displays can sometimes be out of date. It’s also missing Street View – a popular feature from Google that enables you to see the world up-close.
Thankfully there’s a brilliant app from Google that brings all of these features back. It also includes support for saving offline maps, indoor maps and public transit directions. Read on to see how it works.
1. Download the app
The first step is the easiest, just open the App Store app on your iPhone or iPad, search for “Google Maps” then download and install the free app.
2. Search for locations
Open the app and you’ll see your current location on a map. You can search for more locations by entering a place name or post/zip code into the search bar at the top of the screen. If you’re logged into Google services, tap the small human icon to the right of the search bar to see your recent maps history.
See the small rectangle in the bottom left corner of the screen? Tap on it or drag it outwards to reveal the sidebar. From here you can enable real-time traffic, get public transport directions, cycling directions, swap to Satellite view, download the Google Earth app and change settings.
4. Cycling routes
Tap the Cycling button in the sidebar and you’ll see local cycle routes overlaid on top of Google Maps. This is a brilliant way to discover quiet routes and avoid those busy roads while enjoying a cycle ride.
5. Location Information
Tap and hold on any part of the map and a small red pin will appear beneath your fingertip. Tap on the pin and you’ll see more information about the location, including its address, distance from your current location, a share button and Street View preview.
6. Turn-by-turn directions
From the location information panel, tap on the blue car icon and Google Maps will work out a route to the location. The app will offer a number of options, each displaying the current traffic status and total distance. Just tap on one and Google Maps will navigate you there using turn-by-turn directions. This is a great replacement for your Sat-Nav, although keep in mind that Google Maps uses a lot of battery while in this mode.
7. Street View
Tap the Street View preview from any dropped pin and you’ll instantly jump into Street View mode. Use your finger to pan the image, and tap any on-screen arrows to move in that direction. To return to the default maps view, just tap once on the screen to show the grey menu bar, then tap the back arrow in the top left corner.
8. Save maps offline
Sometimes it’s helpful to save the map view to the memory on your iPhone or iPad. This enables you to keep using the map while there’s no data signal, it also saves battery. To do this, visit the location or town you wish to save, type “Ok maps” into the search bar at the top of the screen, then press the blue Search button on the keyboard. The app will now save the map data locally for you to access offline.
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