Google Maps on iOS provides stay location sharing in iMessage, house display screen widget, darkish mode – TechCrunch

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Google Maps introduced right now three function updates to its iOS app. With stay location sharing within the iMessage app, a site visitors widget for the house display screen and darkish mode, Google Maps is positioning itself as a stronger competitor in opposition to iOS’ native Apple Maps.

Reside location sharing was already potential in Google Maps — by tapping on the blue dot that exhibits the place you’re, you may share with choose mates your ETA to your vacation spot, and even how a lot battery life your cellphone has. However the Google Maps iMessage widget makes it simpler to share your location with out navigating away out of your dialog. By default, Google Maps will share your location for one hour, however it’s potential to increase to as much as three days — if you wish to cease sharing, faucet the “cease” button on the thumbnail.

Picture Credit: Google Maps

Google Maps’ present iMessage widget permits customers to ship GPS coordinates of their location in iMessage — however should you’re making an attempt to fulfill up with mates, this wouldn’t be as helpful as sharing a stay location. Apple Maps already has an identical function constructed into iMessage, so Google is taking a leaf out of Apple’s guide to attempt to beat them on their very own app. For a very long time, Google Maps was extensively thought of to be the superior navigation app, however in 2018, Apple utterly rebuilt Maps from the bottom up, making it extra aggressive. Plus, as iOS 15 rolls out, Apple Maps will add AR performance, higher public transit options, extra detailed maps and different enhancements.

Google Maps added Waze-like site visitors and incident report options to its app in 2019, which made it extra interesting for driving commuters — the app says that considered one of its “strongest options is the power to see stay site visitors circumstances in an space.” Now, customers with the newest Google Maps app will be capable to add a site visitors widget to their house display screen, which might shortly share what site visitors is like of their space. The widget additionally permits customers to set frequent locations, like house, work or the gasoline station, and navigate to these locations with only a faucet. Although the app already has darkish mode on Android, this function may also roll out to iOS customers within the coming weeks.

As Google Maps and Apple Maps compete to turn out to be the perfect navigation app, an unlikely competitor is available in Snapchat, which has created a extra social expertise on its Snap Map. Final week, Snapchat added the My Locations function to the Snap Map, which helps customers discover new spots to go to based mostly on the exercise of different customers of their space. The ephemeral messaging app additionally introduced on the finish of July that in Q2 of 2021, the platform grew each income and every day lively customers on the highest charges it has achieved within the final 4 years. Nonetheless, as of final yr, Google Maps had over 1 billion worldwide customers.

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