The iOS update to Google Maps adds a few new features, including the previously reported dedicated ride services tab. It also integrates recent Google Map lookups and saved places into Apple’s Spotlight Search.
Conduct a search in Google Maps on the iPhone and save/star a location. Then open Spotlight; swipe right from the home screen. As you type, saved or previously searched locations appear near the top of results. Below are a few screens showing how it looks.
Tap on the Google Maps icon in Spotlight Search, and you’re taken directly into the profile page in Google Maps, and from there, you can get directions, call the business and so on.
Apple hasn’t released data on usage of Spotlight Search on the iPhone, but there must be some happening or Google wouldn’t have included this feature in its Maps update. For those using Spotlight Search on a regular basis, it makes saving places in Google Maps worthwhile.
Spotlight Search has some helpful features, but it’s not an indispensable part of the iOS experience. Ironically, being able to access Google Maps saved places and recent searches makes it more useful and something I’m now more likely to use.