One of the great things you can do with Google Maps has been to navigate by business name for the longest time. If I want to set a course for Apple Maps favorite Best Buy in Seattle, I can just type in “Best Buy, Seattle, WA” and for the longest time getting the address and being able to navigate has been the extent of that.
Now Google Maps will inform you if you’re going to arrive after business hours, which can save you a wasted trip and some bad feelings toward life in general.
In addition there’s a relatively new feature that was released last month (which I somehow missed seeing in last month’s update) where you can search for “my events” and see car rental reservations, flights and hotels from your Gmail.
Not having any car rental, flights, or hotels in my Gmail at the moment I can only assume that they’re pegged out somehow on the map.
I don’t know why Google decided you had to type out “my events” rather than having it as an option on the pulldown menu. It seems a little clunky if you’re trying to get things done quickly, and you have to remember the phrase to search. But it’s there, it’s free, it’s another thing Google’s done mostly right.
Now if Google could just put Google Latitude/Google Plus Locations back onto the map, Google Maps would be the completely encompassing killer app we know it can be. (How am I supposed to stalk my friends and know if the bar’s going to be closed by the time I get there? Use two apps? Count me out!)
Oh yeah, and if they could add a feature to cache within x miles of areas known to be dead cell zones so you don’t end up in the mountains of Georgia trying to look up a gas station and finding that Google Maps is completely useless when you’re offline. That would be good too.