Google Maps mobile web app now works more like a native app


Google has rolled out an update to the mobile web version of Google Maps, offering many of the features that were previously only available in the company’s native iOS and Android apps.

You can now visit maps.google.com in your phone’s browser and view your current location, search for nearby businesses or attractions, get driving, transit, biking, or walking directions, and view traffic and other layers.

The app also shows Place pages with photos, business hours, user ratings, and other information. And if you’re signed into your Google account you can view starred locations or My Maps.

The new features are available in Android and iOS mobile web browsers.

The update is part of a growing trend toward mobile web sites offering more app-like features. Google recently rolled out a more powerful version of Google News for mobile which uses your location to find local news, and Twitter’s mobile web site now looks an awful lot like a native app.

Unfortunately¬†the updated version of Google Maps is much more resource-intensive. When I tried out the app on my iPod touch the browser crashed repeatedly — something that rarely happens when viewing other web sites in the mobile browser.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since 2006. Brad has also worked with NPR, WHYY, PRI, and AOL.

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