Google Maps could get a big upgrade just in time for the iPhone 15

The Google Maps logo on an iPhone screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google Maps may be embracing the Dynamic Island now that iPhone 15 is tipped to get Dynamic Island.

Code found within the latest iPhone update of Google Maps hints at an upcoming feature called Live Activities, according to a report by MacRumors. Though present in the app's code, Live Activities does not appear to be functional yet for users.

The feature would enable real-time navigation updates directly on an iPhone's lock screen or Dynamic Island. Google Maps users could view turn-by-turn directions and estimated arrival times without needing to open the app.

Live Activities was first introduced in iOS 16.1, allowing third-party apps to leverage the feature. Google stated earlier this year it planned to roll out Live Activities integration into Maps "in the coming months," but it has yet to launch.

Despite new updates to Google Maps like checking air quality, and Live View, it may have seemed that Apple Maps has been gaining on Google Maps for some time. The update, if true, will draw Google Maps in-line with Apple Maps in using Dynamic Island, and make the question of which navigation app is best more interesting.

iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island

(Image credit: Apple)

Finding code references now suggests Google is still at work on developing Live Activities for Maps on iOS. It's unclear when exactly the feature will debut for users, but it seems to be in the works. Live Activities will likely extend to all iPhone models, including the rumored iPhone 15 line expected to be announced by Apple this September.

The discovery of the code shows Google is continuing to invest in improving the iOS Maps experience with Apple's newest features. But iOS users will have to wait a bit longer to take advantage of Live Activities for Google Maps navigation.

We're expecting the next iPhone 15 range soon as Apple event invites could come this week. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is already shipping according to analysts ahead of the September 12 launch. The iPhone 15 Pro could be the biggest leap forward since the iPhone X with a new titanium frame that could reduce the weight of the device.

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Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne
Phones Writer

Elliot MulleyGoodbarne is a Staff Writer at Tom’s Guide covering news, reviews, buying guides with wit and charm. He has had a keen interest in mobile, tablets, laptops, and everything in between since his first phone, the Samsung U600. Starting at Mobile News, Elliot has been writing about mobile and the business of technology since 2016, and has edited four trade magazines in that time, attending award shows for three of them. He has attended a range of industry events including 5G launches, device announcements, and trade events, where he developed a nose for picking up on trends, interviewing executives, and networking with the tech community. In his spare time, Elliot can usually be found watching, playing, or attending sporting events. With season tickets to West Ham United and Surrey County Cricket Club he often spends weekends in winter in a foul mood and evenings in the summer with a smile on his face. Outside of sport Elliot enjoys cooking, pubs next to rivers, and chilling out with a G&T, Whiskey, or Port after a solid week of excellence.