Google Maps gets a free upgrade on iPhone with new iOS 16 features

This Google Maps upgrade looks so useful!

Google iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets
(Image credit: Google)

Apple’s new iOS 16 operating system has landed on the iPhone, and with it comes a major lock screen update that includes widgets for the first time.

There are already widgets for many of Apple’s own iPhone apps, but Google says its own widgets won’t be far behind. The company published a blog post to coincide with the public release of iOS 16 this week, highlighting iPhone lock screen widgets for Google apps like Search, Chrome, Drive, Gmail and Google News.

It also showed how Google Maps widgets will look on the lock screens of our iPhones running iOS 16. For now, there will be two widgets. The first is called Frequent Trips and shows a real-time travel time and ETA for your most popular destination. For most users, this will mean an estimated travel time to your home will appear on the lock screen of your iPhone.

Google iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets

(Image credit: Google)

The second widget has four icons for restaurants, shops, cafes and hotels. Tap any one of these, and your iPhone will unlock, Google Maps will open, and a local search will be conducted for whichever of the four business types you tapped on. In short, the widget gives one-tap access to a map of local amenities, from the iPhone lock screen.

Google hasn’t said exactly when the new widgets will arrive, but explained: “Lock screen widgets for lots of Google apps are on the way. You’ll be able to unlock your device to access your favourite Google features in just one tap – and even see some updates right on your lock screen.”

The company added that this week’s blog post was a “sneak peak” of what to expect, suggesting more iOS 16 lock screen widgets will be on the way soon.

Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.