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Alphabet's Google Launches an Updated Maps App for iOS

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Alphabet Inc.GOOGL -owned Google rolled out an updated version of its Maps app for the iPhone and iPad, which can be downloaded from App Store. This is in line with its efforts to make life easier for its users.

The updated version, which is currently available only in the U.S. and Canada, includes offline maps and navigation and offers information about the busiest store hours and gas prices.

Though these features may not be directly related to mapping, they are sure to make life a little easier for users especially with the holiday season around the corner.

In November, Google improved offline capabilities for Google Maps on Android. While earlier, users could just see sections of Maps in offline mode, it now allows you to download maps for locations that do not have robust connections so you can get turn-by-turn directions and local business information as well. Also, Maps automatically returns to online mode when you travel out of the area. Now the feature has reached iOS.

In July, Google added a feature to its search services to display the busiest times of the week for local businesses and places. It has now extended the feature to the Google Maps iOS application. The feature is available for different businesses including retail stores, coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores and gyms. Google basically wants to ensure that its users can avoid waiting in long queues.

It has also introduced a gas price tracking feature for its iOS map app (already available on Android), which means that it will display gas prices when users search for nearby gas stations. The app automatically updates gas prices and displays information. .

The latest updates, although not big ones, are important for Google. The release follows reports last week that Apple AAPL Maps are used three times more than Google Maps on iPhones and iPads and that the company witnesses "more than 5 billion map-related requests each week".

Though Google Maps is predominantly used on all U.S. smartphones (Apple Maps is not available on Android), Apple is trying to catch up.

But Google has an upper hand given its ability to aggregate information from millions of consumers' smartphones and access to a wide range of businesses throughout the world. With the introduction of new and innovative features, it is set to maintain its leading position.

Google has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A couple of better-ranked stocks are NVIDIA Corporation NVDA and Texas Instruments TXN , both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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