A significant upgrade to Google Maps has started rolling out to Android smartphones and tablets (coming to iOS soon). The redesigned app should make it easier for users to explore, discover and navigate. It’s also streamlined and faster compared to past versions. Read on to learn about the new features.
Explore: Explore is a fast and easy way to visually browse and discover new places without even typing. Simply tap the search box and you’ll see cards showing great places to eat, drink, sleep and shop.
Enhanced navigation: In addition to current traffic conditions, we’ve added two new features to help you navigate around traffic. 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. This feature is available only on Android and is coming soon to iOS.
Designed for tablets: A dedicated tablet design brings all the features of this new app to Android tablets and iPads, which makes exploring the world from the comfort of your living room much more fluid, smooth and fun.
Reviews, Zagat and Offers: There’s a new 5.0 star rating system that gives you a quick read on how your friends and others rate places like restaurants, bars and cafes. For an expert’s opinion, the Zagat badge of excellence and curated lists are integrated into search results so you can quickly spot the very best places. From “Best Restaurants to meet for a drink in NYC” to “Best Restaurants in the Mission” in San Francisco, Zagat’s there to help you uncover the local gems.
Google removed the Latitude and check-ins features from Google Maps, so users will have to rely on Google+ for Android for location sharing and check-ins. The standard offline maps function is also no longer available. Google says you can still access maps offline by simply entering “OK Maps” into the search box when viewing the area you want for later, though. If you’re running Android 4.0.3 or higher, head to Google Play to grab the free app update. View promotional and tutorial videos for the refreshed app below.