Google Maps, one of the most popular navigation apps for the iPhone, is preparing to launch a new feature that will enhance the user experience on the upcoming iPhone 15 models. The feature, called Live Activities, will allow users to view turn-by-turn directions and the estimated time of arrival (ETA) in a single live-updating notification on the Lock Screen and the Dynamic Island.
What is Live Activities?
Live Activities is a feature that will enable Google Maps users to see their navigation information without unlocking their iPhone or opening the app. The feature will display a live-updating notification on the Lock Screen that will show the turn-by-turn directions and the ETA for the destination. Users will also be able to swipe left or right on the notification to access other options, such as canceling the navigation, sharing their location, or switching to another app.
The feature will also work with the Dynamic Island, a new display technology that Apple introduced with the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max last year. The Dynamic Island is a small pill-shaped area at the top of the screen that can show contextual information from different apps, such as weather, battery level, or music controls. The Dynamic Island can also change its shape and size depending on the app and the content.
With Live Activities, Google Maps users will be able to see their navigation information on the Dynamic Island as well. The Dynamic Island will show a small map with the current location and direction, as well as the ETA and distance to the destination. Users will be able to tap on the Dynamic Island to expand it and see more details, such as traffic conditions, alternative routes, or nearby places.
When will Live Activities be available?
According to MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, who discovered hidden code-level references to Live Activities in the latest version of Google Maps for iOS, the feature is still in development and not yet functional in the app. However, Google is reportedly finalizing the work on Live Activities support in Google Maps, so the feature could be available on the iPhone 15 on day one.
Apple is expected to expand the Dynamic Island to all four iPhone 15 models, which should be unveiled on September 12. Apple has allowed third-party iPhone apps to offer Live Activities support since the release of iOS 16.1 in February this year. However, Google Maps has been slow to adopt this feature, despite announcing that it would roll out Live Activities support “in the coming months” back in February.
Why is Live Activities important?
Live Activities is a feature that will improve the user experience and convenience of Google Maps on the iPhone. The feature will allow users to see their navigation information at a glance without having to unlock their phone or switch between apps. The feature will also take advantage of the Dynamic Island technology, which offers a unique and immersive way of displaying contextual information on the screen.
Live Activities is also important for Google Maps because it will help it compete with Apple Maps, which already supports Live Activities and Dynamic Island on iOS 16. Apple Maps has been improving its features and accuracy over the years, and has become a viable alternative to Google Maps for many iPhone users. By offering Live Activities support, Google Maps will be able to match one of Apple Maps’ key advantages and retain its loyal user base.