Google Maps update brings much needed navigation sharing

by: Jonathan FeistJanuary 15, 2015

google maps 9 screenshots (1)

It’s our favorite app update day of the week, what most of us call, Google’s Android app update Wednesday. It may have been a quiet one, but this Maps update is one that we are pretty excited about.

Google Maps for Android is rolling out version 9.3, look for the update on device, or head on over the Google Play Store for your free copy.

Along with the smattering of typical bug fixes, Maps v9.3 brings two main new features. First, is the ability to permanently ignore location settings warnings, second is that ability to share directions.

Google Maps Location Services prompt

Starting with the location settings warning. If you’ve ever fired up Maps while not connected to WiFi, or with your GPS disabled, you’ve seen the warning. It simply lets you know that Maps isn’t going to work so well for you until you change your location settings, and includes options to ignore once or head into the settings. If you see this often, and it drives you nuts, simply tap the new “Don’t ask me again…” check box and continue on your merry way.

About those sharing options, this is going to be huge for some people, and wasted on others. The tool is pretty straightforward, a new Share directions option is in the three-dots menu of the directions dialog. Sharing directions gives your next steps in two forms, a text only guide is presented, allowing you to send the directions to those that cannot access Maps at that moment. From there, a link is provided that will give fellow Maps for Android users the directions in their Maps.

Google Maps 9 3 share directions permissions

In addition to the front end changes we are seeing, there are two new permissions required for the app. Access to Bluetooth settings and the ability to Run at startup.

If you are not seeing the update just yet, the folks over at Android Police have captured the APK for download. Otherwise, we understand that Google is pushing out the Maps update to all of your devices over the next couple days.

What do you say, is the ability to share directions an important feature for your Google Maps usage?

  • crutchcorn

    FREAKING FINALLY!!! Oh my god now I won’t have to be hollered at by my girlfriend when she can’t understand what I was sending her and how to see the direction results

    • You and me both crutch.

      • crutchcorn

        And she gets SO mad. Like, she really does. She doesn’t understand why I can’t just make it easy. So Google, simultaneously screw you (for not doing this sooner) and THANK YOU.

        • Just need multi-location nav now, and my marriage will be safe.

          • crutchcorn

            That’d be perfect! People’d stop getting “lost” to events! :P

            The other issue with my gall is she’s paranoid about security, and NEVER EVER enables location… Yet she has an iPhone and it’s registered under someone else’s account!!! (we’re both below age of 18)

          • Security is super important, especially if you are just pretending to be scared and are actually an international spy. Better check that out dude.

          • crutchcorn

            I know security is important, but a lack of understanding of that area, and suddenly your efforts are for not. :/ I’ve tried to teach her, but she gets upset when I talk tech! Oh well, what can you do eh? I love her anyway.

            But you are right… She is cunning and dubious at times… TO THE BATCAVE!!

  • monkey god

    damn ive been trying to find this option in Maps for years and it turns out it never existed before now.

  • AgentLantern

    Full screen ad.
    *presses back button*
    Full screen ad.
    *presses back button twice*
    *goes to Android Police for a while*

    • sithishs

      Adblock…why isn’t everyone using browser addons/extensions yet? I’ve never seen an ad on this site :P

      • Gideon Waxfarb

        What browser(s) on Android has an adblock extension, other than Firefox? I have a carrier-locked phone that can’t be rooted, so Adaway is not an option …

  • Wibbly

    Shame they don’t/haven’t yet included the Google-owned-Waze feature of sending route AND current location to folk for the duration of your journey.

  • Rupinder Sra

    This will make Waze redundant. Sad, but would next to remove it.

  • Learjet

    I had not really thought about the possibility of sharing directions, but I think that would be very useful.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    Wonder if they’ll ever let users ignore tolls by default, instead of having to uncheck the option EVERY SINGLE time :P

  • djohnson

    Not an important feature at all. Bloatware.

  • WebAsh

    Anyone know what the Bluetooth permission is for?