Timesaving Map Tools for Your iPhone: Contacts, Recents, and Favorites

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

The Maps app offers three tools that can save you from having to type the same locations over and over into your iPhone. Here’s the lowdown on these three timesavers.

Contacts

Maps and contacts go together like peanut butter and jelly. For example, if you want to see a map of a contact’s street address, just type the first few letters of the contact’s name in the search field at the bottom of the screen. Now tap the contact’s name in the list and a bubble drops over her house (on the map, of course) and two buttons appear: View Contact and Directions. Tap View Contact and the person’s contact card appears in an overlay; tap Directions and step-by-step directions appear in an overlay.

If you have multiple addresses for a contact, you’ll see multiple entries — one for each address — in the overlay. Just tap the one you want.

After you find a location by typing an address in Maps, you can add that location to one of your contacts or create a contact with a location you’ve found. To do either, tap the location’s bubble on the map, and then tap its info bubble to display its Info screen. Now scroll to the bottom of the Info screen and tap the Create New Contact or Add to Existing Contact button.

You can work with contacts in three ways. The first way is to tap the Contacts icon in the Extras folder on the second page of Home screen icons. (Swipe from right to left on the Home screen to see this second page.) The second way is to tap the Phone icon on your Home screen, and then tap the Contacts icon on the Phone screen’s dock. Finally, you can use the Contacts screen right inside the Maps app.

When you’re finished using the Contacts list, tap the little x-in-a-circle in the top-right corner of the Contacts overlay to return to the map.

Recents

The Maps app automatically remembers every location you’ve searched for in its Recents list (unless you’ve cleared it). To see this list, tap in the search field, and then swipe upward on the eight icons that appear below it.

To clear an item from the Recents list, swipe the item from right to left and then tap its Delete button. In the past, clearing the Recents list was an all-or-nothing proposition. In iOS 10, you can no longer clear the entire list at once but you can remove items in the Recents list one at a time. That’s progress.

When you’re finished using the Recents list, swipe downward to close the Recents overlay and return to the map.

Favorites

Favorites in the Maps app, like bookmarks in Safari, let you return to a location without typing a single character. (Earlier versions of the Maps app had bookmarks instead of favorites.)

Moving right along, if you’ve already searched for an address, you can make it a favorite by swiping upward on the overlay until you see the heart (Add to Favorites) icon, and then tapping it.

You can also save a location as a favorite by dropping a pin (a temporary favorite) on the map to mark the location. To drop a pin, press with one finger until a bubble with a pin appears. To reposition a pin, press on the bubble and drag it on the map. When you lift your finger, you’ll see an info bubble with the location of the pin on an overlay near the bottom of the screen (if Maps can figure it out). Swipe upward until the heart (Add to Favorites) icon appears; tap it to save the location as a favorite.

Don’t forget that you can zoom by pinching or spreading or by tapping the map with one or two fingers.

After you add a location to Favorites, you can recall it at any time by first tapping in the search field, swiping up on the eight icons to get to the bottom of the list (where Favorites appears), and then tapping the Favorites button.

The first things you should mark as favorites are your home and work addresses. You’ll use these addresses all the time with Maps, so you might as well make them favorites now to avoid typing or tapping to find them over and over.

Also create zip code favorites for your home, work, and other locations you frequently visit. Then when you want to find businesses near any of those locations, you can choose the zip code favorite and add what you’re looking for, such as 78729 pizza, 60611 gas station, or 90201 Starbucks.

One more thing: To delete a favorite from the list, just swipe from right to left and then tap Remove.

When you’re finished using Favorites, swipe down on the overlay to return to the map.