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Google Maps App Gets Lane Guidance, Offline Mode and Other Substantial Features

Navigation with Lane Guidance
Google's Maps app features GPS lane guidance Google

Google recently updated its Maps app for iPhone and Android with a whole mess of new features, such as:

  • Lane guidance while in navigation mode, so you can be sure to be in the correct lane while preparing to exit;
  • The ability to pre-download certain sections of maps for use when you’ll be offline;
  • The ability to sort nearby restaurants, bars and hotels by hours, rating or price;
  • Integration with the Uber app, if you have it installed: You can check whether walking, talking public transportation or taking Uber will get you to your destination most quickly;
  • More accurate public transportation information, such as the ability to set your desired departure time for the train or look up the last time the train runs;
  • The ability to star places on a map, saving them so you can remember to visit them later;
  • Deeper integration with Street View functionality, allowing you to see first-person imagery of popular tourist destinations, restaurants and bars.

Lane guidance and offline mode are the two big-ticket items here, as they help round out the Maps app as a free, powerful GPS replacement. The other additions are nice touches, too, many of them with the apparent goal of trying to keep people inside the Maps app instead of using apps from the likes of Yelp or one of several public transit apps.

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