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Google Adds “Now” Content, Features To iOS Maps Apps
In October, Google started adding Google Now style cards to its PC Maps. Now, Google is adding some of those same features to its iOS Maps apps. If you update Google Maps for iOS and sign in, you can now see flight, hotel, and restaurant reservations from Gmail in Maps — and then search or get directions.
Here’s a PC Maps screenshot from Google for its October update:
I don’t have a good screenshot for the new content in mobile given that I have no upcoming reservations. But below is a set of screens from my iPhone that illustrates the “Nowification” of Google Maps.
Google is doing more and more to “encourage” users to sign-in across mobile apps and in the Chrome browser. This is partly to provide a more integrated, personalized experience across platforms — but also to track users (see Estimated Total Conversions).
I’m quite frustrated by having to sign in to Google at every turn on my iPhone. I also find the Google Maps experience increasingly cumbersome and clunky on iOS, notwithstanding some of these useful new features. The best experience of Google Now and Maps is on an Android device.
Overall Google Now is evolving from novelty into a really useful tool. It’s especially impressive and valuable around travel reservations, which show up at the right time without having to search for them.