Google Maps iOS App Adds New Features for Finding People and Places

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Google released an update to its Google Maps app for iOS this week, adding features that make it easier to find places nearby while also integrating Google Contacts into the app.

“This update is part of our goal to make Google Maps comprehensive, accurate and useful wherever you may be in the world,” Google Maps Product Manager Salahuddin Choudhary wrote in a blog post on Google’s website.

Version 1.1 of the app adds a local search feature with dedicated icons for restaurants, cafes, bars, gas stations, etc.

“So if you’re in a rush and need a quick coffee, just tap the search box, then the coffee cup icon, to see the cafes closest to you,” Choudhary explained in the blog post. 

The app has also integrated Google Contacts into the search feature. If you’re looking to visit a friend, you can pull up the search feature and begin typing the name of the person you want to see. Google will fill in the rest, using information from Google Contacts. You can tap the name of a friend to view the friend’s address and quickly get directions.

The company has also rolled out the English version of the app in seven additional countries, including Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE. Users will also be able to choose between miles and kilometers as the preferred distance units in the settings menu.

The update is available in the Apple App Store. It requires iOS 5.1 or later to run.

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