Google Maps Update Brings Uber Integration And Offline Functionality

Google's Maps platform has rocketed into perhaps one of the most vital in the company's portfolio, both in terms of usefulness and in terms of user loyalty. This week, Google Maps is seeing a major update across both iOS and Android, adding a slew of new features and refining others. Now, for motorists in the United States as well as select other countries, you'll hear which lane to stay in (or move to) when approaching an exit. Plus, you'll have one-touch access to alternate routes as you're navigating.

Better still, those headed into disconnected locales will appreciate the easier-to-use offline mode. Just find an area prior to leaving, zoom into, and select "Save map to use offline." Finding nearby places is getting ever easier, too, with new filters enabling users to "browse through restaurants, bars and hotels by opening hours, rating, price, and more."

Most interestingly, the Google Maps app now tightly integrates with Uber. f you have the Uber app installed, you can now compare your ride with transit and walking directions right from Google Maps in some cities. And if you choose the Uber option, you’ll jump right into the Uber app with just one click.

As always, Maps is free to download, and it gets a lot more useful if you sign in to Google while using -- plus, you can now tap your Contacts app for saved addresses as you're searching. Getting around has never been easier.