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Google updates Chrome & Maps for iOS, brings improved search and sharing

Google on Monday rolled out an update for the iOS version of Google Maps, adding contact searching and saved addresses. A separate update for its Chrome browser, gives iDevice users improved search functionality and browser navigation, as well as better sharing features.

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Google Maps version 1.1 brings the ability to search Google Contacts and to sign in to have saved addresses show up when searching for friends and family by name. It also brings the ability to search for local places by category, such as restaurant, bar, cafe, etc. Google Maps version 1.1 is available as a free download in the iTunes App Store. The 7.6MB download requires an iDevice running iOS 5.1 or later.

Tuesday's release is the first major update for Google Maps since the software hit the App Store in December. The software was highly anticipated after Google's mapping data was removed from the iPhone with the release of iOS 6.

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Chrome version 25.0.1364.86 brings the requisite stability and security improvements and bug fixes for an update. It also adds a feature where a long press on the back button will allow a user to quickly access any page in the tab's history.

Users now also have the option to share web pages using messages. Going to "Menu" and then to "Share" will allow users to share content through emails, Message, or their favorite social network.

The new version also changes the search experience so that search terms now appear in the browser's omnibox instead of as part of a longer search URL. According to Google's post on the feature, it will be rolling out in the coming weeks, so users may not notice it immediately.

Chrome for iOS is available now as a free download in the iTunes App Store. The 18.6MB download requires an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5.0 or later.