iOS users of Google Maps just got some new functionality that has been in the Android version for some time now. Version 4.9 (iTunes link) brings a new night mode as well as the ability to label custom places so they can be easily found on the map and in search.
Night mode does something pretty common amongst dedicated GPS navigation units: It darkens the maps on-screen while you’re navigating somewhere. The reason this matters is because distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of driving-related accidents, and the white glow of a smartphone screen directed at ones face at nighttime can most definitely make it difficult to see what’s in view of the vehicle.
The other notable addition to come with this update is the ability to label places on the map that aren’t already in Google’s own database of places and points of interest. It’s already possible for anyone to add new places to the map through the iOS app, but these were only for public places and, if approved, would be seen by everyone using the app. The new labels are private, intended to make it easier to find and navigate to places that matter to you.
Google Maps for Android already has these features, but for iOS users who still cannot stand Apple’s own mapping product, they’re surely a welcome addition.