Google Maps for iOS adds ride services tab, Spotlight search & more

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Google on Wednesday issued another update to the Google Maps iOS app, most notably adding a dedicated tab for people wanting to travel via ridesharing services.

As long as a person has matching apps installed, selecting the tab will present a range of service options. These currently include Uber and various regional companies, namely 99Taxis, Ola, Hailo, mytaxi, and Gett. Significantly absent is Lyft, the next-most popular service in the U.S. after Uber.

Each option includes an estimated pick-up time and fare. Where a company has multiple ride tiers, these will also appear — Uber riders, for example, can pick between options like uberX, uberXL, uberBLACK, and uberSELECT. Ride services will also sometimes be displayed when opting for walking or public transit directions. Once a service is chosen, the appropriate app will launch.

Elsewhere, Google Maps has been integrated into iOS 9's Spotlight search, meaning that people can search for recent or saved destinations. Users can also finally save standard route options, such as avoiding tolls when driving. Previously, users would have to set these options for every trip.

Google Maps is a free download, and runs on any device with iOS 7 or later.