Google Maps for iOS Gets More Details, Toll Estimates, and Standalone Apple Watch Support

Google Maps is afraid of the green

Google updated today Its dedicated Google Maps app for iOS devices is rolling out a slew of new features that will improve the navigation experience on iPhones.

Google Maps is afraid of the green
There’s a more detailed Navigation Maps that Google says is designed to make it easier for people to drive on unfamiliar roads. Google Maps will show traffic lights and stop signs along the route, and show advanced details like building outlines and areas of interest.

In select cities, Google will provide even more information such as street size and width, including medians and islands. The feature is rolling out to iOS and CarPlay users in select countries “over the coming weeks.”

On drives that include toll roads as part of directions, Google Maps will now provide an estimated toll price before you navigate. Google will look at factors such as what day of the week it is, along with the cost of using a toll pass or other payment methods, to provide an estimate.

Google will show both the toll route and the toll-free route, and users can still use the “Avoid toll” toggle to view the toll-free route. Toll prices for 2000 toll roads will be available this month in the US, India, Japan and Indonesia, with support in other countries coming soon.

Google is adding a new Apple Watch experience that will let users get directions on Google Maps directly from the watch. In a few weeks, Google Maps users will be able to tap on the Google Maps shortcut in the Apple Watch app and then begin navigation without the need for a connected iPhone. There’s also a “take me home” complication coming in to make it easier to get quick directions to a designated location.

There are also several other updates that will improve Maps on iOS. Google is adding a new Pinned Trips widget that will let users view pinned trips in the Go tab on the iOS home screen. The widget will display the arrival time, the next departure time for the transit journey and the suggested route while driving.

The existing Google Maps search widget will be updated to be smaller, and soon, Google plans to add Google Maps integration directly into the Spotlight, Siri, and Shortcuts apps. Once set up, users can say “Hey Siri, get directions” or “Hey Siri, search Google Maps” to use the new functionality. These features will begin to become available in the coming months, with increased Siri functionality coming later in the summer.