Google Maps for iPhone adds Street View, public transit, and walking directions

Friday, November 21, 2008 | 3:00 AM

(cross posted with the Google LatLong Blog)

I waited in line on launch day to buy my first-generation iPhone, and ever since then it has never left my side. The best part is that it keeps getting more useful with every software upgrade Apple puts out. This time around, Apple has improved their version of Google Maps by putting even more Google features in your pocket.

The most eye-catching one is Street View: Apple's silky-smooth implementation makes it a joy to pan around the world. You might wonder why you'd want to look at panoramas of the world while you're already out in it, but I've found it handy for getting an idea of what to look for when going somewhere new. In somewhere like New York, it's also a great way to get your bearings when you pop out of a subway station in an unfamiliar part of town.



Speaking of subways, my favorite new feature is the addition of Google Transit and walking directions. In a time of congested roads and fluctuating gas prices, driving isn't always the best way to get from A to B, so why limit your options? Now when you get directions, you can switch between driving, walking, and public transportation directions (where available) with a single tap.

Google Maps has schedules for transportation systems in more than 100 cities worldwide, including New York, Tokyo, Montréal, Zürich, and Perth — and now it's easy to get that information on your iPhone. As more transportation agencies decide to share their schedule information, their routes will be available on the iPhone the instant they appear in Google Maps on the web.




Finally, in the latest version of Google Maps for iPhone, you can email information about a location to your friends, which can be a great help when coordinating a get-together.

To get these new Maps features on your iPhone, you'll need to update your phone's software through iTunes. I hope you'll find these new additions as useful as I have. And don't forget that even if you don't have an iPhone, Google Maps for mobile is available for many other kinds of phones, including BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian Series 60, and Android — visit www.google.com/gmm for more details.

by Joe Hughes, Mobile Maps Software Engineer

20 comments:

enobrev said...

Great! How about adding them for Android!? Driving directions are absolutely worthless in New York City, which makes Google Maps on the Android about 70% worthless to me on this otherwise delightful phone.

Guillermo Esteves said...

Looks great, but I'd like to now why this wasn't included in the iPod touch update.

Kalvin said...

I have a question about the maps app on the iphone. It is a good app correct? I`m curious as to why gCal has suddenly stop opening the maps app on the iphone (where you can see your currently location and a map in a full screen view) to just a link to the mobile web based map.

donnatn said...

Are you guys working on Street View for Windows Mobile? I am counting the seconds:)

andrew.s said...

That's great - I've been waiting for walking directions on my iPhone. Thanks a lot.

Schattenwand said...

Please update the Symbian Series 60 too. Can't wait!

shehab said...

I iphone street view limited to some locations. I'm in a town where there is no 3G coverage and I can't find street view option on my iphone. Can someone tell me is this the reason or I'm missing something ?

Jonas Alves said...

Why there's no Street View in the iPod Touch? I'm very disappointed on that! :(

David Bressler said...

I have iphone 3G, version 2.2, and my maps app didn't update! I don't see the three choices for walking/transit/driving directions at the top. Do I have to do something to update that maps app?

Thanks,

David
djbressler(at)gmail(dot)com

shehab said...

David, you will see those options when you find directions between point A and B.

Can you see the street view?
I can't see it on mine.

cheers,

AtiLaw said...

If you arn't sure you have streetview - do a search for nyc, then in there search or times square - drop a pin there - and the red person icon should appear on the pin description to the left, tap that - and you are in. Took me like 2 days to find it... aside from the fact there is no street view available where I live yet, I was expecting a button or option with the word street view in... easy once you know what to look for! :)

mdurwin said...

Not all areas show Street View. Not all cities have transit maps (Boston being one). I updated and the new features, even though some don't work near me, are cool.

shehab said...

thanks a lot, I didn't know to click the red person in the pen description to activate street view.

cheers,

mahoganyboutique said...

I have a T-Mobile Das and uses Google Maps a lot. It would be nice if the street view was available for phones. Knowing what the area looks like when using the map is helpful.

adamtemp64 said...

Great but us uk users gannot select it in miles only km but uk still uses miles not km.

Please fix mentioned on apple and o2 forums

Dan Godoy said...

I use GMM a lot when out of town travel.. As a transit agency we are urged to use transit whenever we travel and on my last 2 trips Google Transit on a mobile device was a sweet feature to use. Especially with the added Street View!

HotSamosa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

HotSamosa said...

How come you can't choose what type of transit option you want when you get directions? Sometimes it decides bus or train. And I don't use buses!

PR Ganapathy said...

Is there a way to view a saved "my map" from an iPhone? I emailed my wife a link to saved map (she has the older version of the iPhone) and when she clicked on the link within the iPhone, it just opened maps, without any of the annotations.

BrianMC1975 said...

I agree with Jonas. I am greatly disappointed with Google & Apple not providing streetview for the iPod Touch. It is the same software for the iPhone. What gives? Was it an oversight, or just that you could care less for iPod Touch owners?