We’re going on two months now since Google I/O where Google took the wraps off their new version of Google Maps. Since then, the web version has been in beta testing, and the mobile application has been in development. Now, the mobile app has finally come to fruition with a new update that overhauls the existing Maps app.
The most obvious change with the update is the new UI for the app. Google has finally brought it up to snuff by fully implementing the Holo design throughout all areas of the app. You have a new cards-esque UI for different areas of the app including the search bar, which brings up handy suggestions. As a whole, it strongly reminds us of the ever-gorgeous Google Now app with the Holo UI flowing seamlessly through it.
Alongside the Holofied redesign, the update also packs in some new features. The first of these is Explore, which is a replacement for the existing Local feature. Explore allows you to find places nearby, like restaurants, cafes, bars, attractions, events and more. Tapping on a local place will allow you to see reviews, photos, contact information and other information, including a “Featured by Zagat” collection. It looks to be a bit more fleshed out than Local, which is good to see; Local could be a bit bare bones at times. Like the rest of the app, this features a Holo design with the cards UI.
The final big change comes to Navigation, which was in desperate need of an update. An updated UI was included but the major changes are in functionality. The new navigation system features live traffic updates, incident reporting and new dynamic rerouting for things such as construction zones or accidents. This is going to be a huge boon, and we’re guessing that Google’s acquisition of Waze helped to bring some of these new features to life.
That’s about it for the update. Although there are probably other miscellaneous changes throughout the app, Google didn’t feel them noteworthy enough to list them in the change log. If you don’t have the update yet, don’t worry. It will be rolling out to Android 4.0.3+ users in the next few weeks.
What do you guys think of the changes?