Google Improves Maps For Mobile Web Browsers

Google has released an update to the mobile web version of their Maps app that puts it on par with the capabilities of the desktop web version. You access the mobile web version of Google Maps by entering maps.google.com in a mobile browser.

When you first load the page on an iPhone, you will see a prompt asking for permission to use your current location. Ironically, while the iPhone version supports the expand and pinch gestures to zoom in and out, the Android version does not. In both cases you also see plus and minus buttons for zooming in and out.

The mobile web version includes four layers, satellite, terrain, traffic, and bicycling. If you are signed in to Google, you also have access to any of your saved maps in My Maps. Of course, you also have the ability to obtain directions from your current location to any destination that you search for within Google Maps.

Android users should note that you do not have access to the Navigations app, which provides turn-by-turn driving instructions, from the mobile web version of Google Maps. Because both the iPhone and Android phones have the app version of Google Maps, I am not too sure how much the mobile web version will be used, but if Google were to allow one to completely uninstall Maps from an Android phone, then a lot of storage space could be recovered by just using the web version.

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