The New Google Maps Finally Comes Out Of Beta

Mark O'Neill 22-02-2014

Back in May 2013, Google unveiled a new and improved beta version of Google Maps. It was nice and shiny, and had many new features. Now finally the doors are being swung wide open, and everyone will be able to get the new Google Maps on their desktops in “the coming weeks”.


So apart from the spruced up user interface, what else can you expect to see in the new Google Maps?

One often talked about feature is where you can type in what you are looking for, and the map will show you where in your neighbourhood, you can find it. It will also provide reviews and related results for each place. So if you search for “coffee”, it will show you cafes. “Food” shows restaurants, and so on.

The New Google Maps Finally Comes Out Of Beta Screen Shot 2014 02 20 at 15

As well as normal map, earth, and satellite imagery, Maps will also show things in 3D to try and give things a bit more of a natural feel. If you click on pictures at the bottom of the screen, you will be shown images which are presumably from Google Street View.

The New Google Maps Finally Comes Out Of Beta Screen Shot 2014 02 20 at 15


Next, and this is a good one, when you are looking for directions from point A to point B, Maps will give you alternative routes (driving, walking, bus, subway), along with the estimated travelling time. You can then choose which route you would like to take.

The New Google Maps Finally Comes Out Of Beta Screen Shot 2014 02 20 at 15

If you have the new Maps, let us know in the comments what you think of it. Is it a vast improvement, or are you already missing the old version?

Source: 9to5Google

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  1. Ian
    May 28, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    In the old Google maps I could split the view into half map and half street view and get a short URL which I could then paste into a web page. Is this available in the new version. I'm suspecting its not.

  2. steve
    March 15, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    I really don't like all or nothing street view or map. The old one allowed me to split the window, which is why I reverted back to it. Now it seems that I don't have a choice. Time to go look for another map page.

  3. Joe
    February 27, 2014 at 3:19 am

    What I was waiting for was the rotate map feature, but it's not available in the Lite version and the full version isn't supported on Linux (yet).

    Recently, I needed to make some sattelite maps of a section of road running north-south and the maps are long in the east-west direction. Rotating 90 degrees would have made it a lot easier.

  4. Carrie
    February 25, 2014 at 2:25 am

    All seems good, but Google Maps cannot find my house which was built almost 3 years ago.

  5. Mark
    February 24, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I have reverted to the "classic" Google Maps any time the new one reappears. I haven't tested any functionality, but two complaints: I like having the +/- zoom buttons, dearly wish I could get them back on my phone, and the new maps just feels clunky, not smooth. Not an elegant description, but the best I can come up with right now.

    • Victor B
      February 27, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Hi Mark.
      On your phone you can zoom in and out with one finger: double click on the map and keep your finger on the screen on the second tap. Moving your pressed finger up and down will zoom out and in respectively. It is a new feature which can be found on the help page but it is not widely announced.

  6. Jayke
    February 24, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Have had access to the new version over the weekend. I do not like it at all. Too much clutter left on the screen. Did not see any settings option to clean it up. Wished they hadn't messed with it

  7. dana
    February 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    No routing (at least easily) no interest. More about selling ads and pushing you to merchants. But then, that's Google's game in the first place so should not be surprised.
    It used to be a good tool, not so much any more. Moved on to a stand-alone product.

  8. GG
    February 24, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I was given the new version early in its testing, hated it, quickly reverted to old version. Besides being unspeakably slow it was just .. unintuitive. It didn't do what I wanted or expected, wasn't useful or helpful. It's not a step forward -- and from comments here, I'd have thought they'd see plenty of "No thanks" click votes and learn from that. Too bad of they didn't.

  9. Misc
    February 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Seriously Google, I have a 16 core x64 12gig memory workstation and I notice a speed difference between the new and old. I love google maps but despise the new version, mainly for its inability to quickly zoom and pan. Like another commenter above, I also don't like that is has become less intuitive and more difficult to modify my route or add destinations. Boo Hiss.

  10. Jessica
    February 22, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I must have been using Beta since since then because I've been using those options all the time, especially the transit option when I was in New York City for the weekend.

  11. Rob H
    February 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    On a PC my perception is that its a bit slower, even in lite mode but I've not run any tests to give a definitive answer. I don't like the (motorists) route planning aspect where it seems to like presenting 3 routes highlighted on the map, the worst aspect of that is that each route has a label covering up too much map (except, stangely for public transport only the "best" route carries a label.
    On the plus side it does show where traffic may be slow but it remains to be seen how up to date that information will be, for example does it connect in to sources of live traffic data and accidents?
    Where another website has an embedded google map it shows the "old" interface with zoom and streetview controls top left and different design (and other interface differences), maintainging 2 standards could get confusing, I wonder whether the new interface will turn up there? Or if web designers can control which view is provided?

    On Android - The interface needs a lot of work.

  12. martin
    February 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    After moving to a new city recently I have relied heavily on this app. The functionality of it is great . The integration of the transit system makes it easy to get around

  13. Roggins
    February 22, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    There's a setting to revert back to the old google maps and a checkbox to use old maps by default. That's what I did. I use it every day to assist with mapping out routes with multiple (20 or more) stops. The new maps allow you to do this but it's much slower to add stops. You have to enter them one at a time. With the old maps I can click "add destination" as many times as I need to, then start from the top and tab my way down, adding addresses as I go. Since that's the only thing I use it for I don't see myself reverting back to the new maps anytime soon.

  14. tim
    February 22, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Maps on a mobile phone is a disaster for navigation IMHO.

    No +/- for zoom as Nomad points out and if you are navigating and want to look at traffic in a more "God's eye" view as you are driving, pinch zoom looses the GPS tracking along the route and it does not recenter/track until you press the bullseye.

    Of course when you press the bullseye, the map recenters on your location but you go back to the default zoom level and loose the big picture.

  15. Nomad
    February 22, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Well, last year, when I had the option of trying the beta version of new maps, I was disillusioned quick. Opening 2-3 tabs of these maps with some routing or address information on them, brought my core i7 laptop with 4GB of memory down to its knees. So I reverted it back to the original version. On Monday or Tuesday, I painfully realized, while I was getting ready to leave work and wanted to check traffic, my google maps were changed forcibly to make me use the new version. To add insult to the injury, my workplace provided me a shiny new laptop, which is 2007 vintage with Intll single core laptop. I am shaking in my boots and closing any maps window/tab, as quickly as my eyes and fingers allow me.

    It is not a welcome change at all. At least not for me. On mobile, Android ICS for me, the loss of +/- zoom button doesn't make things any easier. It is very hard to pinch while driving with no phone holder is mounted on my dashboard.

    I am disappointed, to say the least

    • Victor B
      February 27, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Hi Nomad.

      I hear you. On your android issue, I found out you can zoom in and out with one finger: double click on the map and keep your finger on the screen on the second tap. Moving your pressed finger up and down will zoom out and in respectively. It is a new feature not publicly announced.
      The rest of the changes I dislike a lot, since now navigation is very crappy. I hope Waze integration makes it into Google Navigation soon.

      Best of luck.