Want to use Mario as your navigation pointer for directions in Google Maps? Here’s how, but hop to it because Google is turning the feature off in a few days.
Mario is good for more than jumping on turtles and saving Princess Peach. He can also help you navigate to your next meeting, assuming you use Google Maps on your iPhone or Android phone. Google added Mario as a navigation option to its Maps app to celebrate MAR10 Day on March 10th (apparently that’s a thing). Just make sure you have the latest version of Google Maps installed, and then tap the yellow question mark button at the bottom of the directions screen to enable Mario mode. The navigation arrow changes to Mario in his little cart, zipping along your route to show you where to go. The feature is rolling out this weekend and will be available for about a week. Google Maps is a free download at Apple’s App Store.
Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at a year’s worth of data comparing Google Maps and Apple Maps and share which is their favorite.
Google updated its Google Maps app for iOS Monday. Version 4.30’s chief new feature is turn-by-turn directions on the lock screen courtesy of a Directions widget. With that widget, users can arrow through each direction in any active route from the lock screen or the Today view (swipe left on the Home Screen). Users can also send their location via Google Maps through iMessage. Both features give Google Maps a dramatically more integrated experience in iOS, erasing some of the pain points of not being the built-in Maps service for Apple’s mobile operating system. The Directions widget will need to be added to your lock screen, while the location feature is available through iMessage. The update is free, meaning you remain the product.
Google is all about April Fools Day pranks, and this year they put one inside the Google Maps app. Instead of navigating your city, you can turn it into a Ms. Pac-Man game. Seriously. Just launch the Google Maps app on your iPhone and tap the Ms. Pac-Man button. The city streets turn into the game grid and you swipe to move around and avoid the ghosts. It’s 8-bit awesomeness that makes pretty much any city cooler. If you don’t already have the Google Maps app it’s a free download at Apple’s App Store.