Google Updates Mobile Offers and Maps

Google is introducing its first dedicated Android tablet Maps app today, along with an update to its smartphone app, based on changes it made to iOS at the end of last year. More new features are also coming to iPhone, as well as Google’s first dedicated iPad Maps app.

 Interestingly, Google is making it easier to find, save and use coupons when you’re using its products on mobile – including while using the Maps app. If you see an offer while searching Maps, indicated by a blue tag icon near the business name or pin on the map, you can save it and redeem it at the participating store. 

Likewise, if you’re searching on or browsing the web, click ‘get offer’ on search or display ads to save to your Google account and access in the Wallet, Offers or Maps app. Brands like Toys”R”Us, Macy’s and Disney Stores are slated to join Offers soon, and Google+ users can follow brands to get saveable offers in their social stream.

Google is making it easier to discover new places, enabling users to simply tap the search box on Maps to find places nearby. It is also adding a five-star scoring system so you can see how highly-rated a place is among friends and strangers. Zagat results will also be incorporated to show great venues and curated lists of top-rated places. Search “best bar in Islington”, for example.

Users can now investigate incident details of traffic jams reported, as well as receive driver alerts if a better journey becomes available while en route. Maps well-liked Latitude friend finder function is being retired fully by 9 August (although not as loved as our dear dead friend Reader). Location and check-in functionality is being pushed over to the Google+ app on Android, with iOS to follow, in a clear integration effort to get Google users on its social platform.

Offline maps are no longer available, being updated in favour of an “ok maps” search command used to save an area for later. This sounds like it’s in preparation for Glass. My Maps has gone for this version, but will be back, the company has said. The updates may not all be available for every country, Zagat only covers certain countries, for example. The Maps app will work on Ice Cream Sandwich+, as well as iOS 6+ when the apps go live.

Google added: “As more of us use mobile phones and tablets in our daily lives, information that’s useful to you isnt just about what you need, but also where you might find it. Today’s update is an exciting step forward for Google’s maps—one that we hope will make it faster and easier for you to explore and discover places you want to go.”