As reported on 9to5Google last night, Google is rolling out a huge update to its maps app for Android but they are also promising the updates will hit iOS ‘soon’.
- Designed for tablets: 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.
- Enhanced navigation: In addition to current traffic conditions, we’ve added two new features to help you navigate around traffic. You can now see reports of problems on the road that you can tap to see incident details [Hello Waze]. While on the road, Google Maps will also alert you if a better route becomes available and reroute you to your destination faster. This feature is available only on Android and is coming soon to iOS.
- Reviews, Zagat and Offers: There’s 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. For 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.
There’s also a lot of housecleaning, including retiring Latitude (another one bites the dust!) and some changes to offline and My Maps.
The updated Android app looks a lot like the Maps app Google released for iOS at the end of last year (prominent reviewers called the iOS Maps app much better than Android’s Maps app). Another interesting fun fact: Because carriers and manufacturers are so slow to update Android, only 60% of Android users will be able to use the new maps (Android 4.03+ only), while over 90% of iOS users are on iOS 6+, which will get the new features.
- Redesigned Google Maps for Android begins rolling out to Android 4.0.3+ users (9to5google.com)
- Apple testing Android-like local voice dictation for iOS (9to5mac.com)
- iOS 7 icons and parallax functionality already on Android with easy mods (9to5google.com)
- iOS 7 incorporates Google Now-type functionality into the Notification Center (9to5mac.com)
- Google announces Waze acquisition, plans to enhance Google Maps w/ traffic update features & integrate Google Search in Waze (9to5google.com)