Blog - Google Maps shortcuts on iOS

Added on Sunday, 2016-01-03 22:55 CET in categories Programming, Traveling
Update 2018-12-26: since iOS 12 you can easily integrate Shortcuts with Siri, allowing you to launch directions in Google Maps with your voice. Google "ios google maps siri shortcuts" on instructions how to add this functionality.

This makes the approach below obsolete.
Since I started driving to work, I found myself regularly inputting the same data into the Google Maps app, which became tedious. Instead of using Apple Maps through Siri, I decided to figure out how to launch routes in Google Maps more effectively.

It's possible to launch native iOS applications using URL schemes, e.g. using Google's comgooglemaps://. I thought about creating a bookmark in Safari, but as soon as I opened such a link, Safari would launch Google Maps (great), but delete the link (not so great), so I couldn't bookmark it.

I then stumbled upon the iPhone Configuration Utility, which allows you to create a so-called Web Clip, which shows up as an icon on the home screen, and can launch any URL you indicate. The resulting file is a simple XML file, so after a bit of fiddling around you can now create your own Google Maps shortcuts too.