Google has announced the first significant update of its Google Maps for iPhone app, featuring faster local search and integration with Google Contacts.
Google debuted the stand-alone mapping app to work with Apple's latest iOS 6 mobile operating system in December after Apple had dropped it from iOS 6 in favor of its own mapping app, which met with resistance from users who found it flawed and incomplete.
"Today, we're releasing an update for Google Maps for iPhone with new search icons that make finding local places faster and easier, and with integration of your Google Contacts to make it simple to find your friends," Salahuddin Choudhary, product manager for Google Maps, wrote in a post on the company blog.
"For faster local search, you can tap one of the new icons for restaurants, coffee shops, bars and other types of places to quickly see nearby haunts," Choudhary wrote. "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."
Integrating Maps with a user's Google Contact list will make finding contacts faster during a search.
"Simply tap their name to see the address, which will be visible only to you, on the map," he wrote.
The Google Maps app offers local search, voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit information, Street View and live traffic information, eWeek.com reported.
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