Earlier this year, Google announced they would be creating a new version of their Google Maps app for iOS and Android. Google Maps 7.0.0 has just been released for Android smartphones and tablets, and users are already applauding the app’s new look and features.
Google Maps Director Daniel Graf says, “The new Google Maps for mobile builds on the design we released for iPhone last December and improves on it with a few useful search and navigation features. And it’s the first dedicated app for Android tablets and iPads.”
New App Features
Google highlighted several of the app’s new features in their announcement:
Explore – Allows you to discover new places and browse without even typing anything. Tapping the app’s search box displays cards showing ideal places to eat, drink, sleep, play, and shop.
Enhanced Navigation – The app now makes it easier to navigate through traffic. The app displays the current traffic situation and reports on any incidents or road problems, and alerts users if a better route becomes available.
Designed for Tablets – The app’s new tablet design providers a smoother, more user-friendly experience.
Reviews – Google Maps now has a 5-star rating system that allows you to rate establishments like cafes and restaurants, and lets you view other people’s ratings.
Zagat – Zagat is a trusted source for restaurant reviews and ratings. Google Maps’ search results now display Zagat badges of excellence and curated lists, making it easier to find highly recommended establishments.
Offers – The app displays valuable offers from brands and establishments right on the map. You can also redeem any coupons or offers through the app, or save them for later use.
Google Maps’ Latitude and check-in features are no longer included in the new app, and will be removed from app’s older versions on August 9, 2013. The check-in feature has been integrated into Google+ instead.
Offline maps have also been removed, but you can save maps for offline viewing by entering “OK Maps” into the search box when viewing them. The new Google Maps currently doesn’t support the My Maps feature for creating custom maps, but Google promises to bring it back in future versions of the app.
These upgrades make it easier for users to find specific establishments. Optimizing your business’ Google Places could open up more opportunities to find new customers and improve your brand’s local and online reputation.
The new Google Maps app is now available at the Google Play store, and will be available for the iPhone and iPad soon.