The new Google Maps version for Android is using a flat interface that is definitely getting its inspiration from Google Now, just like promised at the I/O 2013 event. Available on the smartphones and tablets running Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich or later, the new Google Maps comes with a cleaner full screen interface, which is now hiding the menus behind a small button, leaving more room for the map and the search box.
Among the new features introduced by the Google Maps update you will find traffic incidents reporting and traffic route recalculations, both functions taking their benefits from the technology that was made available after Google acquired Waze.
Besides the new interface that was better optimized for tablets, the Android users will also be able to enjoy some smaller design changes, like displaying scores instead of stars for the interest places or display the interest points around you as soon as you press the magnifying glass button of the search box.
Unfortunately, the new Google Maps for Android ditched some of the old features. Latitude and My Maps are no longer available after the update, and the option that was allowing the user to save maps was replaced by a caching function, which can be accessed by typing “Okay Maps” in the search box.
Anyway, the iOS users will not be left behind, as the Google Maps update for the mobile operating system developed by Apple will roll out in App Stores over the next few weeks. The iOS users will also receive the new improvements and features, and, at last, iPad compatibility.
Are you enjoying the new Google Maps? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.