Thursday, July 11, 2013

Google Maps app for Android smartphones and tablets

By SheebaSudeep

Google has introduced new Google Maps app for Android smartphones and tablets,which is also coming soon to iPhone and iPad. It is expected to give the users a  new mapping experience that will make exploring the world and reaching out to the places that matter to you a lot faster and easier. The app is gradually rolling out globally in Google Play and is expected to be  available soon in the App Store.

The new Google Maps for mobile builds on the design that was released  by Google for iPhone last December and improvized it by adding   a couple of useful search and navigation features. This is going to be  the first dedicated app for Android tablets and iPads. Google is  also retiring Latitude and are making some changes to offline and My Maps which is elborated below.

Below are   a few highlights that make this release stand out:

Explore: Explore will be a fast and easy way to visually browse and discover new places without even typing. One can Simply tap the search box and  see cards showing great places to eat, drink, sleep and shop.
Enhanced navigation: Google had incorporated  two new features to help people with easy  navigation around  the existing traffic. It will be possible now to see reports of problems on the road that you can tap to see incident details. While you are on the road, Google Maps will be alerting you if a better route becomes available and reroute you to your destination faster. This feature is currently  available on Android only ,but is expected to come soon to  iOS.
Designed for tablets: A dedicated tablet design which  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.
Reviews, Zagat and Offers: Google maps is having  a new 5.0 star rating system that gives you a quick read on how your friends and others rate places like restaurants, bars and cafes. If you need  an expert’s opinion, the Zagat badge of excellence and curated lists are integrated into search results so you can quickly spot the very best places. From “Best Restaurants to meet for a drink in NYC” to “Best Restaurants in the Mission” in San Francisco, Zagat’s there to help you uncover the local gems.
And finally, Google Maps for mobile is a great way to discover valuable Offers from national brands like Macy's, Michael's and Toys "R" Us, labeled right on the map. All these features can make it a lot easier to navigate the world, no matter what adventure comes your way.

One noticable difference you should know about is that Latitude and check-ins will be retired. These features will no longer be a part of the new Google Maps app, and will stop functioning in older versions by August 9.

The offline maps feature for Android is also no longer available. Instead Google has  created a new way   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 is expected to return in  future versions of the app.

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