New Google Maps Feature Makes Navigation Much Easier on iPhones

New Google Maps feature for Apple users 6 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Google
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Google Maps is already the preferred destination for Apple users looking for an Apple Maps alternative, but now the Mountain View-based search giant is trying to make its app feel like home on iPhones and turn it into a first-class citizen.
To do this, the company is integrating Google Maps deeper into the browsing experience.

Sure enough, this isn't possible in Safari (unless you're Apple, of course, but in this case, Google Maps certainly wouldn’t be the choice), so Google has just announced a new Google Maps feature rolling out to Chrome users.

Google Chrome is currently the number one browser in the world, as it dominates desktop and mobile platforms. It's not the leading choice on Apple devices, where Safari is still the top choice for most users, but it's gradually increasing its market share anyway.

Beginning with the latest update, Google Chrome on iOS automatically detects addresses that you come across on the web. The search company says it uses artificial intelligence for this feature, so whenever you load a website with an address (such as a restaurant or a store), the information automatically becomes clickable.

Right now, if you want to see the location of a business, your only option is to copy the address and then paste it into Google Maps. The whole thing doesn’t take more than a few seconds, but it's inconvenient and cumbersome. We all know there are ways to do it faster, Google knows it too, so starting with this update, the company makes it happen.

Because Chrome for iOS automatically detects the addresses found on webpages, you can now long-press on the information and wait for the integrated Google Maps component to load. Thanks to this feature, a mini version of Google Maps is available right in Chrome, so you should see the highlighted address, along with nearby POIs, streets, and additional data. In other words, you're getting a quick Google Maps preview right in Chrome without having to launch the navigation app.

On the other hand, if you do need the navigation app, the new interface also includes a button to launch Google Maps. This way, you can start the navigation on the spot, with Google Maps loading with directions configured directly to the address highlighted in Chrome.

It'll be interesting to see how Apple will respond to this update, as Google's new feature is appealing not only to Apple Maps users but also to those running Safari. The search giant kind of shoots two birds with one stone here: it improves the experience with Google Chrome and Google Maps, making browsing and navigation more convenient on an iPhone.

The feature is available today in the latest version of Chrome for iOS, already live on the App Store.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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