Google Maps for iOS updated with improved search features

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Google Maps, hands down the best maps app for iOS, has received its first update and users now have better integration with their Google contacts. Upon signing in with v1.1 of the Maps app, any saved addresses on your Google account will show up when you look up the name of a friend of family member. This makes it easier to find driving directions to your contact’s address, of course provided that you’ve already entered their details beforehand. To help distinguish between search results of names you’ve typed in, your saved contacts will show up with a person icon to the left, while general results with a similar names will have a magnifying glass icon beside it. Currently, Google Contacts search only works with regular Google email accounts, and is not available for Enterprise Apps accounts.

The update also introduces a new quick search option for local places via preset categories, like restaurants, bars, gas stations attractions and more. This is certainly a welcome addition for helping find POIs nearby. But if you really want to get serious with looking up places around you, I’d still suggest using Localscope (now completely free to use), which aggregates sources from not just Google Maps, but Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Wikipedia and others. Finally, v1.1 now allows you to choose between Kilometers or Miles for your preferred distance units.

Google Maps is free and the update is now available for download on the App Store.

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