Google Maps for iOS just made your commute easier


Google Maps Feb 18 update
You can now gain one-tap access to useful commute info.
Photo: Google

Google today rolled out a new Maps update for iOS that makes accessing commute information easier than ever.

A new one-tap access bar at the bottom of the app lets you quickly view nearby restaurants and hotels, real-time traffic data, and transit information.

Your iPhone tracks every place you visit. Here’s how to see the map.


Significant Locations
Bubbles show you where you have visited.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Your iPhone knows where you are, and it remembers where you have been. It keeps a record of your frequent hangouts — aka “significant locations” — and uses this data to make location-based suggestions using Siri and to power other features. Don’t panic, though: This data is kept on your phone, not collected by Apple.

Maybe you want to switch it off anyway, though. Perhaps you’re having an affair and don’t want your suspicious spouse to find out where you and your lover hook up. Or you’re an undercover cop and don’t want your visits to the police station to show up on your phone. Today we’ll see how to access your recent locations data, remove it, and switch it off altogether.

Google forced to remove new iPhone feature following outrage


Google Maps calorie count
A calorie count is useful to some, but offensive to others.
Photo: BuzzFeed

Google added a neat new feature to Maps on iPhone this week — then pulled it in under 24 hours following user outrage.

It was seemingly designed to encourage users to walk more frequently by showing how many calories they could burn on their route. But many feel the feature was shameful and judgmental, and a negative trigger for those who suffer from an eating disorder.

Never lose your parked car again with Siri and Maps


Never lose your car again.
Photo: Pomodoro Entertainment/Flickr CC

If your car has a Bluetooth stereo, then you can set your iPhone to remember exactly where you parked, and mark the spot in your iPhone’s Maps app. Once enabled, you’ll never lose your car again. The process is automatic: Whenever you leave your car, the marker is placed. Let’s see how it works.

How to measure distance in Google Maps for iOS


measure distance google maps
Measuring distances in Google maps is now easier than doing it on paper.
Photo: Georgie Pauwels/Flickr

Remember how, if you wanted to measure distance between two places, you’d have to either a) spend the next half hour searching the App Store for a non-hideous free app that wouldn’t be too frustrating to use, or b) contrive to force Apple or Google Maps to give you more-or-less direct directions between two points?

Those dark days are over, because now Google Maps on iOS has distance measuring built in. Now you can finally see how far it it from here to there. And back again, if you like.

New iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra betas bring minor tweaks


iPhone 7 iOS 11
Grab iOS 11 beta 7 while it's fresh!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Development of iOS 11 appears to be nearing the finish line, as Apple seeded a fresh new beta for its big update of the software that powers iPhones and iPads.

iOS 11 beta 7, along with new betas for macOS High Sierra and tvOS 11, are now available to registered developers. They bring a bunch of new bug fixes and performance improvements to the operating systems, which are expected to be released to the public later this fall.

How to ask Siri when a nearby store is open


ask siri
Siri knows all about the opening times of local businesses.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Is it too late on a Saturday night to hit the hardware store for that essential dingus you need for Sunday’s DIY project? Has the local supermarket closed already, or do you still have time to buy some more beer? Does the Kanaan restaurant (“Best Humos in Berlin”) even open today? Just ask Siri.

You may be used to firing up Google Maps, searching for the store or restaurant you’re interested in, then tapping around in the app to get to the opening times. But did you know that Siri can also tell you if a local business is open, or when it will be?