iOS: We’re all excited to have Google Maps back on our iPhones, but the app loses some of its usefulness because it doesn’t integrate with Siri. If you want to ask iOS’ virtual assistant for directions, however, MacStories figured out a workaround to map your favourite places with minimal effort (and no jailbreak required).
Essentially, you need to save a custom URL as a contact card and ask Siri to find it. When you do, she can launch it and that’ll bring up Google Maps with directions to the place you saved from your current location. It’s not a perfect solution, but here’s how it works if you want to give it a shot:
- Start with a URL like this:
saddrstands for start address and the
daddrfor destination address.
- If you leave the start address blank, Google Maps will assume you want to use your current location. In the case of the destination address, however, you need to add the address of the location you want directions to. This address needs to be in a format Google understands, so if you wanted directions to Penn Station, which is 8th Avenue & 31st Street, New York, NY 10001, you’ll need to change it to it to
8th+Avenue+%26+31st+Street,+New+York,+NY+10001. The easiest way to get your address into this format is to visit the Google Maps webapp on your computer, type the address in, click the link icon, and get the link to that address. For example, Penn Station.
- Once you’ve got that taken care of, you need to append this to the end of the URL:
- Make a new contact, give it the name of your destination, and save that URL as the contact’s home page.
- Ask Siri for that contact and then to visit it’s web page. In a moment, you’ll have directions without the need to type them in.
This is not a fantastic workaround because you have to do a little work just to add an address you can’t change. However, if you have a few frequent destinations and don’t want the hassle of retyping them, you can access them quickly through Siri with this trick. Alternatively, save them as home screen bookmarks and they’ll be just a tap away.