Google has updated its outstanding Google Maps application for the iPhone with the capability to search for your contacts’ addresses and lots of easy-to-search local business data.

Apple’s Maps app received a lot of criticisms after it debuted for iOS 6, but thankfully Google came along and released a standalone Maps app that blew it out of the water. Google has had a significant head start over Apple with its data, and it has done a great job of making polished iOS applications.

The additions today to the Google Maps iPhone app build on that reputation. Google says the new version of the app includes the following additions:

  • Search your Google Contacts: Sign in to have your saved addresses show up when you search for friends and family by name.
  • Quickly search for local places by selecting popular categories such as restaurants, bars, cafes, gas stations, and so on.
  • Choose between kilometers or miles for your preferred distance units.

The most important update is arguably the boost to local search because it takes away some of what makes apps like Yelp or Foursquare so useful. By searching for restaurants and being able to see them placed on the map around you with Zagat ratings, there’s not as much need to open Yelp to check reviews.

Top photo: Google

VentureBeat Mobile Summit We’re holding our third annual VentureBeat Mobile Summit conference this April 1-2 in Sausalito, Calif. The invitation-only event gathers the top 180 executives from all segments of the mobile ecosystem to develop a blueprint for the industry’s growth in the coming year. For more information and to request an invitation, click here.