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Remember all the new Google Map features introduced in Google I/O? They’re here, and available for Android smartphones and tablets, with iOS support coming soon. The new version of Google Maps is similar to the one introduced for iPhone last year, and features a much cleaner interface with fewer buttons to ponder about. The map includes a simple search box, and search results are displayed in visual cards instead of plain text.

Google Maps’s navigation features have also been revamped. In keeping with social navigation apps such as Waze, Google Maps now alerts you of upcoming problems in the road complete with incident details, and will also let you know when a better route becomes available while you’re navigating. Exploring, finding and rating places such as restaurants, bars and cafes has also become easier with a new Zagat integration and customized offers.

As always with major Google updates, some Google Maps have also been removed. These include Latitude, which has been retired, as well as check-in features which are no longer available in the new version, and will disappear from older versions on August 9. Not surprisingly, the check-in option has been migrated to Google+ (Android only at the moment), which you can use for location sharing.

Offline maps as you know them have also disappeared, but should still be available while typing “OK Maps” into the search box when viewing the area you want to save for offline viewing. If you’re wondering where My Maps is, it’s also gone for now, but should make a comeback in “future versions of the app”.

In the best Google tradition, Google Maps 7.0.0 is rolling out slowly to devices running Android 4.0.3 and up, so if you’re not seeing it on your device, have some patience. You can try downloading the update from Google Play, but if Google doesn’t want you to have it yet, it’s not going to work.

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What do you think of the new version of maps? Do you like the new features? Will you miss retired ones?

Source: Google Blog

  1. Rob Ot
    August 25, 2013 at 12:00 am

    There seem to be too many problems to mention with maps 7.

    Some of mine:
    Zoom. There used to be buttons that you could use while navigating to zoom in or out. This has been replaced by the “pinch” method. Fine when you have the device in your hand, but almost impossible to do when the device is in a car dock and you are driving.

    Search. It seems that when you search for something in 7 that it will show you the closest and nothing more. Also, in maps 6 you could see a list of your contacts and then select from the list. Now this is replaced only by a search feature. Again not what you want to do when driving.

    But more to the point is that google seems to not want to make this screw up public. This actually has to do with play in general. All apps in play have review ratings. But this rating is for ALL of the versions of the app. There is no way to see only the most recent versions rating. So in this case someone could look on play to see how maps was rated, see an obvious high rating and load the upgrade. They will have no way of knowing that maps 7 is such a disaster!

    What really bothers me is that im not sure how long the previous versions will be available to normaly android users who have not rooted their phones. Is it a matter of time before maps 6 is no longer
    available?

  2. Len
    August 16, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Useless anymore, couldn't get me home. Looking for another map/navigation app

  3. Len
    August 16, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    This new Google maps is useless, it would not point me home from a destination and I am ditching it for an alternative map/gps, don't know which yet but I'm looking. I always thought Google was a smart company but someone f#*ked up.

  4. Kris
    August 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Tought I was the only one to complain about the new navigation. Will try Waze

  5. google sucks
    August 3, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Soooo thanks a lot retards now i have no gps feature

  6. Bob
    July 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    The new google map has to be the worst app I have used. The old navigation interface was great, just start the app, push speak and talk your destination, a couple of seconds latter you are on your way with no other input. Now it takes many steps to get where you want to go, what idiots design this stuff. The guy...or gal that designed the old app needs to teach these new guys how to make life simple...

  7. fred sanders
    July 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    I used to to like the navigation in maps now i see google has decided to ruin a good thing , think they would have taken a lesson from apple. they did not have a working map program , now google just made theirs user unfriendly. Way to go google.

  8. Jon Davis
    July 21, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Worst update ever. Removed the Navigation shortcut and the driver-safe UI. You are now forced to squint at the tiny minimalistic text and mini-buttons to initiate navigation.

  9. colleen ellis
    July 20, 2013 at 12:27 am

    How do I undo google 7.0? This new version is a huge step backward for anyone that uses it to navigate in city traffic. Google navigate had been my very app--and the one that was the most help to me during the day. Now, when I first turn on google navigate, the menu display is washed out and very hard to read. I use it in a holder for driving and I can't read the display. Then it shows a route in satellite view. Again, very difficult to see the map while driving. I can't find my favorite locations without several key strokes. Then, the closest default map positions are locations I didn't use on my phone to navigate, but on my laptop while doing historical research of europe--locations thousands of miles away from my car's location. The best feature of the old google navigate was to see alternate routes with the traffic highlighted. Now the route options aren't shown with their accompanying traffic, but are listed by the names of one of the key roads--not helpful!

    • Yaara Lancet
      July 21, 2013 at 8:13 am

      That sounds truly frustrating! I use Waze to navigate when driving so I wasn't aware of how bad this update I for navigation.

      You could try alternative apps like Waze (at least until Google turns them into Google Maps), or maybe ask on MakeUseOf Answers. Maybe someone can help you with this!

  10. Larry Gray
    July 20, 2013 at 12:13 am

    This new version stinks! What youngster did you have design this one. The traffic updates and eta were more reliable in the previous version. This version is way off the mark. Very non-commuter friendly. Went back to the old version.

  11. Jake
    July 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Overall pretty sleek, but I agree, Navigation on the new tool is a big step back.

  12. JamesInCA
    July 15, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    The new Navigation interface is a definite step back.

    Inputting From and To is visually confusing.

    Then once it grabs the route, for some reason I have to press Start. Why? Obviously I'm starting. If I don't tap Start, eventually my screen saver kicks in, and clears my route. Not helpful.

    Once I've pressed Start, it now takes me to the "turn-by-turn" view. Normally, I don't actually want this, as I'm driving my regular commute, and using Nav for upcoming traffic info and ETA. I used to be able to tap the timer in the lower-left corner, and get the entire route view. Now I have to tap the menu button in the lower right, and choose "Route preview." Then I lose the timer/ETA.

    If I pinch-zoom until the whole route is visible, I also lose the timer/ETA. Why do this? Why not let me change the view, without assuming I also want you to remove useful information from the screen?

    The "Find Alternatives" option is also apparently gone. This was very handy for times Google picked a stupid route, or when I knew of issues along the way Google might not.

    All in all, the update appears to make me do more work, for less functionality. Lose-lose.

  13. Jedik
    July 15, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    The new colour scheme on navigation mode while 'pretty' is pretty useless whilst trying to use in int he car driving, grey text that isn't large on a white background WTF? not to mention the tiny menu button on the left and the fact it doesn't give you the option to exit when you use the back button, it just keeps on running in the background. The old one wasn't broke so bring it back!

  14. Informedboomer
    July 15, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Hit the "Navigation" icon/widget, and the screen was completely different, apparently changed to Google Maps. WTF? This struck me as similar to a Microsoft decision -- enough said?

  15. chris
    July 14, 2013 at 3:09 am

    offline maps have been restored. you can stop panicking.

  16. SWAG KID 2000
    July 13, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Did you ever hear of the phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't
    fix it."? That applies here! What in the world happened
    to my google-maps app! Where's "peg man"! How do
    you find out "traveling from & to"! And the miles and
    time. What in the world did they do to this! You call
    this an update?! Why can't people just leave things
    alone. This app was fine the way it was! Jeeeezzz!

    • striker
      July 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      I figured that out in like two seconds dude. Just tap the bottom bar for that info.

      Anyway, it's the lag that I'm concerned with. Galaxy Note 2 with a quad processor, and still has lag. Hope updates improve that.

  17. Sam R
    July 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks for letting me know there is no offline mode. Now i will make sure i dont download it

  18. Chris Hoffman
    July 11, 2013 at 5:12 am

    Really disappointed in the "removal" of offline mode. I'm not sure how stable and robust the new offline Easter egg is. Really bad decision from Google.

    • Preston Herfel
      July 11, 2013 at 6:03 am

      It's lame... Hard to use and the area you can select is much much smaller.

    • Yaara Lancet
      July 11, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Yeah, I have no idea why they had to go and do that. Sometimes they make the absolute weirdest decisions.

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