Google maps is undoubtedly a real hit among smartphone users.
Everyday, thousands of people use Google maps from their mobile device to get driving directions, search for local businesses, find places of interest, share locations and so on. Although Google provides a standalone Google maps application for both Android and ios devices, the experience and environment is not entirely the same; when compared with the experience of using Google maps from a desktop browser.
Not anymore, since Google has recently rolled out a couple of updates to Google maps mobile web app which now works much like the desktop version of Google maps. If this is the first time, you’re using Google maps from your mobile browser, you have to turn on location sharing from you Phone’s preferences panel.
Once you have shared your current location with Google maps, you will be able to use many of the same Google Maps features you have earlier used from a desktop browser. Just point your mobile’s browser to maps.google.com, select the checkbox Remember preferenceand hit Share location
Google maps mobile web app will automatically detect your current location and you can start enjoying some of the recently added features e.g finding local businesses, search for what’s nearby with suggest, auto complete and so on.
As an example, I used the driving directions feature of Google maps to find the shortest route between two cities and I was shown the following result:
Clear, concise and it feels as if I am on the desktop browser. Moreover, I can find nearby places, restaurants and businesses who have a listing on Google maps and then click the Directionsbutton to find the quickest way to reach that destination.
Another good use of Google maps mobile web app is to read user reviews and ratings of business and see some photos to decide whether you want to avail their service. A simple search for Chinese restaurantsshows a lot of businesses around my location, I can read user reviews, view photos and then use the phone number from the Maps page and place my order. Sweet !
If you’re signed into your Google account, you will be able to access My Mapsand starred locations directly from your Google account. This is handy, because you can skip the search box and quickly navigate through favorite locations, which you have earlier bookmarked from the desktop browser
Overall, this is a significant improvement to Google maps mobile web app and the best part is that it works out of the box. Unlike Google Maps app for Android or iPhone, there is no need to update your app and check whether new features are available or not. Regardless of the host device you’re using, you will be able to access all the good features of Google maps from any device, any browser.