Google Maps update for iOS brings some neat features for drivers

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Google’s endless quest to create the perfect Maps app continues unabated with the release of another update pushed out to its legions of devoted iPhone users on Thursday.

First up is a new “Nearby Traffic” widget that pretty much does what it says on the tin, indicating traffic conditions along your route.

Roads marked green suggest you’ll be unlikely to encounter any issues along the way, but spot a red road and you might want to adjust your route or, if you’re the laid back type, kick back with the appropriate Spotify playlist. Relax & Unwind perhaps, or how about License to Chill? If you’re unable to handle the dismal traffic conditions that you’re about to run into and there’s no alternative route, Life Sucks should suffice.

The widget also offers up short messages offering a little more information such as “light traffic in your area,” or “faster than usual.”

To add the new feature, swipe right on your iPhone to reach the widgets page. Scroll to the bottom and tap Edit, and then look down the list until you find Nearby Traffic. Tap on the green “+” to add it.

And no, Thursday’s update isn’t a one-feature wonder. Load it up and you’ll also be able to search for facilities or particular stops along your route while using turn-by-turn navigation. Once you’ve set your journey, simply hit the Search button and choose from the list of locations, which includes places such as supermarkets, gas stations, cafes, and restaurants. Alternatively you can input your own search term via text or voice.

Once you made your selection, you should see relevant spots spring up on the map, along your route or close by.

The Maps update (version 4.25), which also includes the usual bug fixes, is available now via your phone’s App Store app, or from the iTunes store here.

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