Google updates Maps for iOS with Travel Times widget, Philips teases new Hue control app

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Google has updated the iOS version of Google Maps with several new features, including a new Notification Center widget for commuters, while Philips is hinting at an imminent update of its official control app for Hue smartbulbs.

The Google Maps Travel Times widget displays live calculations for trips to or from work, so long as one or both of those addresses are already saved in the app's Settings menu. People can toggle between driving or public transit to see the difference with each, and tapping on a destination will begin navigation there from a user's current location.

The app now also includes easier options for sharing directions with contacts, and new Settings toggles for adjusting Night Mode and distance units in navigation. Night Mode for example can be forced on or off, or left to change automatically come sunrise or sunset, as usual.

Google Maps is a free download for any device running iOS 7 or later, though accurate navigation and Travel Times require an iPhone or iPad with GPS.

Philips Hue

Philips has quietly renamed its existing Hue app to "Hue gen 1," and changed the icon to gray. This is in preparation for a second-generation Hue app coming this spring, the company said in release notes, without explaining its planned changes.

This is presumably tied to the launch of the Hue White Ambiance, also due this season. The bulb will offer a range of warm and cool whites, striking a balance between Philips' basic white bulbs and its top-end color-changing models. In announcing the product this March, the company promised an app update that would introduce "routines" for different activities, like waking up in the morning or going to sleep at night.

The Gen 1 app should remain in the App Store, but for how long has not been said.