As part of its newest update, Google has introduced the English version of Maps for iOS in seven new countries—Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. The update also brings Google Contacts integration, which lets you look up a contact's name on the map; the latter's address will appear as a suggestion (i.e. if you have saved their address) and all users have to do is tap on their name to see the address.

Maps has also received new search icons that allow users to find local places easily and quickly. Users can tap on the new icons for restaurants, coffee shops, bars and other types of places to view nearby locations. Users can choose have the distance shown either in kilometers or miles too.

Head over to the iTunes store if you do not have the app already. The app is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. To be able to use this app, your phone would need to run iOS 5.1 or later. Google, however, clarifies that some features may not be available in all countries.

App updated with host of changes

App updated with host of changes

Google Maps has proved to be a wildly popular app on the App Store. In December last year, less than a week after its release on iOS devices, Google Maps managed to surpass 10 million downloads, according to Google's SVP of Commerce and Local, Jeff Huber. Huber said the app crossed the 10 million download count in less than 48 hours of its release.

Google claims Maps for iOS is designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what a user is looking for faster and easier.

According to Google, the app shows more of the map on the screen and turns mobile mapping into an intuitive experience. One can preview where they want to go with the Street View feature and see inside places with Business Photos to decide on a table, or see if it’s better at the bar. There are also features such as voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation; live traffic conditions to avoid jams, and if one wants to use public transportation, they can find information for more than one million public transit stops.

The Maps app is available in more than 40 countries and 29 languages, including Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

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