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Google Maps update brings much needed navigation sharing

Google Maps is receiving an update this evening, the highlight of the show, for those on the go, is the new ability to share directions with others.

Published onJanuary 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?

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