The redesigned Google Maps which were unveiled in the Google I/O 2013 in May have now started to roll out to Android as well. Google reworked its maps for both its desktop and mobile versions but the update did not start seeding to the official Android client until now. Android users having Android version 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher on their devices are eligible to get the new version of Google Maps. The roll out has started now and will continue for the next few weeks so many people will have to wait till they get the official update on their device.
Google says that the latest version builds on the design for iPhone which was released last December. Explore now shows recommendation without even typing in the form of cards. Enhanced navigation allows the users to get live traffic updates, updates about incidents and dynamic rerouting to reach the destination faster. A new review system powered by Zagat will be available for places.
Here is a complete Change Log below:
- New design for Android phones and tablets
- Enhanced navigation including live traffic updates, incident reports and dynamic rerouting
- Explore: A new way to browse and discover popular local places to eat, drink, shop, play and sleep
Addition of new features is not the only thing. Google has removed Latitude and check-ins which will also be retired in older versions on August 9. They have instead added Location Sharing and check-ins to Google+ for Android. Google says the new Maps app will also be available for iOS soon along with its Google+ app and will work on iOS 6+ devices.
Google also added in their blog post regarded offline maps:
The offline maps feature for Android is also no longer available. Insteadwe’ve created a new way for you to access maps offline by simply entering “OK Maps” into the search box when viewing the area you want for later. Finally, My Maps functionality is not supported in this release but will return to future versions of the app. People who want to create powerful custom maps can still do so with Maps Engine Lite on the desktop.
Many blogs and forums are now posting links to APKs for your device to get the new Maps right away without waiting for the official roll out to reach you. We suggest you do wait for the official availability for your device and region as installing from unofficial sources always carry a risk and additionally, it gets confusing for the user to decide as so many different versions are available. Let us know what you think of the latest release and follow us on Google+, Twitter and Facebook for more related news on phones, tablets and gadgets.