Google has introduced a new Google Maps app for Android smartphones and tablets, also coming soon to iPhone and iPad. The app is gradually rolling out globally in Google Play and will be available soon in the App Store.
The new Google Maps for mobile builds on the design the company 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. Google is also retiring Latitude and is making some changes to offline and My Maps.
Google Maps now automatically suggests faster routes to help you avoid bad traffic. All you have to do is tap “Reroute” and you’ll be on your way. This feature is available only on Android and is coming soon to iOS. And of course you can always use voice guided, turn-by-turn navigation. After selecting a place, just tap the transportation icon (car, tram, or walking) and you’ll get quick and accurate directions to your destination.
Google Maps features an “info sheet” that puts information at your fingertips. The interactive “info sheet” rests at the bottom of the screen and offers complete details about each place. Tap to expand the “info sheet” to full screen and you get everything from star ratings and store hours to panoramic interior imagery that enables you to See Inside the restaurant.
A dedicated tablet design brings all the features of this new app to Android tablets and iPads, which makes exploring the world from the comfort of your living room much more fluid, smooth and fun.
One important change you should know about is that Latitude and check-ins are no longer part of the new Google Maps app, and will be retired from older versions on August 9.
The offline maps feature for Android is also no longer available. Instead Google has created a new way for you to access maps offline by simply entering “OK Maps” into the search box when viewing the area you want for later. Finally, My Maps functionality is not supported in this release but will return to future versions of the app. People who want to create powerful custom maps can still do so with Maps Engine Lite on desktop, says Google.