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Timesaving iPhone Map Tools: Bookmarks, Recents, and Contacts

The Maps app on your iPhone offers three tools that can save you from having to type the same locations over and over. All three are in the Bookmarks screen, which appears when you tap the little gray bookmarks icon on the right side of the search field. At the bottom of the Bookmarks screen, you find three buttons: Bookmarks, Recents, and Contacts.

Bookmarks in the iPhone Maps app

Bookmarks in the Maps app, like bookmarks in Safari, let you return to a location without typing a single character. To bookmark a location, tap the little > in a blue circle to the right of the location’s name or description to display the Info screen for that location.

Then tap the Add to Bookmarks button on the Info screen. (You may have to scroll down the Info screen to see the Add to Bookmarks button.)

You can also drop a pin (a kind of temporary bookmark) anywhere on the map by tapping the curling page button in the lower-right corner, and then tapping the Drop Pin button. After you’ve dropped a pin, you can press and drag it anywhere on the map.

When the pin is where you want it, lift your finger to drop the pin and a banner with the location of the pin (if Maps can figure it out) and a little > in a blue circle appears. Tap the little > and the Info screen for the dropped pin appears. Now tap the Add to Bookmarks button on the Info screen.

The info screen for a dropped pin offers several buttons in addition to Add to Bookmarks, namely Directions to Here, Directions from Here, Add to Contacts, Share Location, Report a Problem, and Remove Pin.

After you add a bookmark, you can recall it at any time. To do so, tap the bookmarks icon to the right of the search field, tap the Bookmarks button at the bottom of the screen, and then tap the bookmark name to see it on a map.

The first things you should bookmark are your home and work addresses. You use these addresses all the time with Maps, so you might as well bookmark them now to avoid typing them over and over. Also create zip code bookmarks 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 bookmark and type what you’re looking for, such as 78729 pizza, 60645 gas station, or 90201 Starbucks.

To manage your bookmarks, first tap the Edit button in the top-left corner of the Bookmarks screen. Then:

  • To move a bookmark up or down in the Bookmarks list: Drag the little icon with three gray bars that appears to the right of the bookmark upward to move the bookmark higher in the list or downward to move the bookmark lower in the list.

  • To delete a bookmark from the Bookmarks list: Tap the – button to the left of the bookmark’s name.

When you’re finished using bookmarks, tap the Done button in the top-right corner of the Bookmarks screen to return to the map.

Recents in the iPhone Maps app

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 the bookmarks icon to the right of the search field, and then tap the Recents button at the bottom of the screen. To see a map of a recent item, tap the item’s name.

To clear the Recents list, tap the Clear button in the top-left corner of the screen, and then tap the Clear All Recents button. Sadly, removing a single entry is not possible; clearing the Recents list is an all-or-nothing deal.

When you’re finished using the Recents list, tap the Done button in the top-right corner of the screen to return to the map.

Contacts in the iPhone Maps app

To see a map of a contact’s location, tap the bookmarks icon to the right of the search field, and then tap the Contacts button at the bottom of the screen. To see a map of a contact’s location, tap the contact’s name in the list.

To limit the Contacts list to specific groups (assuming you have some groups in your Contacts list), tap the Groups button in the top-left corner of the screen and then tap the name of the group. Now only contacts in this group are displayed in the list.

When you’re finished using the Contacts list, tap the Done button in the top-right corner of the screen to return to the map.

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