Google Maps 2.0: Better Features, More Informative, Nice Details

Google has released Maps 2.0 for iOS with special emphasis on a new design for iPad. It's faster, has more personalized options, and makes better use of the display.

Here are the new features:

  • New design for iPad.
  • Enhanced Navigation that includes traffic and incident reports
  • Discover and recall. For example, restaurants, bars, shopping, theaters, hotels, pharmacies.
  • Bike Paths
  • Indoor maps for malls, airports, transit stations.
  • User ratings.
  • Shopping deals via Google Offers (like Groupon).

The iPad version supplies more detail in large scale views. Estimated driving time for various routes are supplied.

Denver Metro. L: Ver 1.x, R: Ver 2.0

Restaurant recommendations for a region are colorful and informative.

Some of the restaurants in Breckenridge, CO

There is detailed information for construction sites which could really help when traveling cross country.

Triangles mark major construction areas. (red arrow by the author)

For major malls and airports, there are indoor maps. Here's Park Meadows Mall, Centennial, Colorado compared to Apple's maps app.

Park Meadows Mall, Centennial CO. L: Apple Maps, R: Google Maps 2.0
Buttons on bottom right show the various levels.

There is a new feature that adds just a bit of momentum when scrolling a page. It seems to make using the app a little easier. The search bar at the top, which had been too large and obtrusive, has been made smaller. And there are visible decisions about how to manage screen space on the iPad, with its larger display, compared to the iPhone.

All in all, this 2.0 version looks to be a great upgrade whose features, detail, and design will surely keep the heat on Apple.

System Requirements

Google Maps 2 is free and compatible back to iPhone 3GS, iPod touch back to 3G, and with any iPad.  It requires iOS 6.0 or later.  It's been localized to all major languages.