Posted 07/11/2013 at 11:22 AM
Posted 3 years ago
Google has given its popular Maps application a significant makeover, with a new interface, exploring, and navigation features. The latest update was first previewed back in May at the I/O developer’s conference and will begin roll out immediately for Android users, with iPhone and iPad apps soon to follow.
Maps will sport a cleaner-looking user interface and a new discovery feature called “Explore” that makes it simple for users to browse maps and discover new places without having to type into a search box.
“Simply tap the search box and you’ll see cards showing great places to eat, drink, sleep and shop,” Google said of “Explore” in a blog post yesterday.
The search giant also said that it would be easier for users to navigate around traffic, thanks to the update’s enhanced navigation features.
“You can now see reports of problems on the road that you can tap to see incident details. While on the road, Google Maps will also alert you if a better route becomes available and reroute you to your destination faster.”
Also announced was the addition of the excellent Zagat five-star rating system that lets people discover the very best places to visit, shop, and dine and gives a faster read on how other users have rated their own experiences.
It’s not all good news though, especially for fans of the Latitude tool. As part of the rollout of new features, the popular Latitude will be discounted.
“One important change you should know about is that Latitude and check-ins are no longer part of the new Google Maps app, and will be retired from older versions on August 9,” said Google’s blog post. “We understand some of you still want to see your friends and family on a map, which is why we’ve added location sharing and check-ins to Google+ for Android, coming soon to iOS.”
The popular “offline maps” tool will also be disappearing in the new-look Maps; however, Google has introduced a replacement in the form of “OK Maps,” which allows users to save areas of a map to be viewed at a later time by entering them into the search box.
Google said the update will be rolled out “over the next few weeks” for users Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean, as well as iO6+.