The new version 5.74 of Google Maps for iOS adds two straightforward, useful and intuitive widgets for you to try with your iPhone. You can use them in the Today View or on the Home Screen.
“In this release, we’re launching our first set of Home Screen Widgets to help you plan and navigate to your destination,” Google said in its release notes. That suggests more are on the way.
Google Maps for iOS: ‘Find places nearby’
First, the app now has a basic search widget that helps you “Find places nearby.” You’ll see pill shaped buttons buttons for Restaurants, Gas, Groceries, Hotels and more. Clicking one brings up a list of options mapped near your location, along with photos and relevant information about each place.
Clicking in the search bar brings up icon-based shortcuts for your home and work locations, from which a new search can be launched. Tapping on a place on the map will bring up route suggestions.
‘Know before you go’
Second, you can try a new widget that helps you “Know before you go.” That’s the widget’s name, too. It lets you easily check things like traffic conditions, with the traffic layer enabled on the map, and see details about a location, such as store hours, reviews and more, with a click.
Note that updating to the newest version of the app will get you access to the new widgets. But once added, they will replace the old widgets you may have used. Those are Traffic, Transit Departures, Travel Times and Local Guides.
Where to buy: App Store