Today, Google updated its iOS map app to include integration with your Google contacts, new search icons, and English versions of the app in seven new countries. What the company didn’t do is optimize it for the iPad.
Version 1.1 integrates Google contacts into Google Maps. So, when you sign in and search for a friend’s name, their address will appear in the app for you to get directions fast and easy.
In addition to contact syncing, an English-language version of Google Maps is now available in Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. You can also change your unit measurement settings between miles and kilometers, depending on your preferences.
The local search feature has been updated to include new icons for restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and more so you can tap on an icon and only see those businesses in your search results.
Google Maps for iOS was a huge hit when it launched in December, but the company elected not to optimize it for the iPad. Apparently, Google doesn’t think iPad users need a map. They’ve had plenty of time to figure out a way to optimize the app for the larger landscape. It is obvious that the company is intentionally leaving Apple’s tablet out.
Until Google graces our iPads with a fully optimized map app, you can still put the Web-based service on your desktop using mobile Safari’s “Add to Home Screen” feature.
Google Maps is free and available in the App Store today.