Google Maps Updated: 10 Cool Features

Tour the latest version of Google Maps, now available on the iPad and the iPhone, boasting better navigation and search tools, including Google Earth's bird's-eye view.

Google Maps isn't just for the iPhone anymore. Users of the Apple iPad now have their own dedicated version of the latest iteration of the app, Google Maps for iOS. Android users aren't left out in the cold either: Google launched a version of Google Maps for Android just last week.

The new version for iOS offers users enhanced search and navigation tools for exploring both local and far-away destinations. In a recent blog post, Daniel Graf, the director of Google Maps, described version 2.0 as the "first dedicated iPad mapping experience." This is the first version of Google Maps to be optimized for the iPad. It features a full-screen design and Street View, which has been available to iOS users since October 2012 and to iPhone users since last December. The larger tablet-screen layout allows you to map your journey and navigate with ease.

In his post, Graf explained how the new Google Maps lends itself to traveling by car. As you travel, the app announces directions and what is happening on the road in real time. If you prefer public transportation, you'll appreciate the app's schedules for train and bus stations around the world. Version 2.0 also provides appropriate directions for bicyclists on over 330,000 miles of bike lanes, trails and paths around the world.

Improvements go beyond a larger tablet screen and improved navigation capabilities. Version 2.0 not only makes it easier to travel from point A to point B but also provides suggestions for places to stop along the way. The Explore feature points out places to eat, drink, shop, sleep and be entertained as you travel. Tap the search box and a set of cards will appear to show popular local places. Even if you aren't on the road, you could easily use Explore to discover new eateries or attractions in your area.

For each restaurant, bar or cafe found in Explore the app provides restaurant reviews and ratings from Zagat and Google+ users.

Google Maps also now features mobile offers and discounts from national brands such as Macy's and Michael's. Offers are available on the map screen for easy access, but some of the features are not available in all countries.

Want to see some of these functions in action? Click through to see how the new Google Maps can benefit you.

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