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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

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