Google Maps for iOS has brought in a couple of brand new update with the intent of making the service more useful to its users. Aimed at making the Google Maps application better integrated with the iOS operating system, the service brings in a couple of new features including iMessage locations haring and a brand new directions widget.

Google Maps for iOS is a pretty decent app. However, it faces tough competition from Apple Maps which along with being quite well-developed on its own, also boasts of better system integration. Today’s Google Maps update is aimed towards bridging this divide and making the experience of using Google’s service as seamless as possible.

What’s New in Version 4.30.0

  • Get turn-by-turn navigation right on your lock screen with the new Directions widget
  • Use the new iMessage app to send your static location to contacts without leaving the conversation
  • Bug fixes

So first off is a new directions widget that will allow you to  access your directions from literally anywhere in iOS from the Today View. For instance, you can swipe left from the lock screen and view directions from Google Maps. This makes the whole process of reading directions significantly easier, as opposed to having to pull down notifications or open the Maps application.

Next is the location sharing feature that will allow you to quickly share your current co-ordinates with anyone you would like via a simple text. Remember though, that the location sharing offered by the iMessage app is static and as such, you will need to send multiple messages if you are moving and want to keep someone abreast of your position.

On an app-to-app basis, Google Maps is at least as good as Apple Maps — if not better. However, the heavy integration the latter offers to users through out the iOS platform tends to hold quite a lot of weight as well. Google has been catching up though and toady’s updates are another step forward in bringing it on par with Apple’s service.

To access these features, download Google Maps version 4.30.0  from the App Store.

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