Google Maps for iOS adds directions widget; now offers directions on lock screen

The Google Maps team is rolling out a new update for iOS users and for once it adds something unique for iOS only devices. The new update tagged as version 4.30.0 brings onboard a new Directions Widget, one that will allow Google Maps users to view turn-by-turn navigation directions right there on the lock screen.

No it's not your usual notification like it appears on Android devices using the Maps app. Google decided to take advantage of iOS' Today screen on the lock screen to ensure that the widget is always on the top.

Google Maps iOS Directions Widget A

The problem with throwing up directions as a notification, results in the notification getting buried under notifications coming from other apps. iOS's widget feature gives app developers a space on the lockscreen that will allow user customised widgets to show up, revealing shorter bits of data, without the need to unlock the device.

Google Maps iOS Directions Widget B

To activate the widget all you need to do is swipe right from your homescreen to open the Today screen. Once there, scroll to the bottom and tap the edit button. There you will see the updated Directions widget. Tap the '+' sign to add and then tap on the grab icon on the left to reorder the widget as you wish.

One downside to using the Today area for this widget means that the screen will turn off and users will need to raise the phone to wake it up and then swipe to the left to check for directions. But hey you would already be in the Google Maps app if its being used for navigation!

Additionally, the new update also introduces a new Google Maps iMessage app. Basically it lets iMessage users share their location on Google Maps instantly by simply tapping on the app.

Published Date: Apr 18, 2017 11:35 am | Updated Date: Apr 18, 2017 11:35 am