Google just announced that a brand-new Google maps smartphone experience will be landing on Android and iOS soon, and it looks astoundingly good. The aesthetics of 2D street maps have been completely redesigned to be easier on the eyes, and better at organizing information. The only downside is that it's not coming until "this summer."
Nearly every aspect of the Maps app has been reworked. Zagat ratings are no longer the default ratings system for places (it's now a 1-5 star user rating), and place cards have an all-new look. I really can't go through every single change, because it seems like Google's had its hands in every corner of the APK. Another highlight is friend-based suggestions - Maps will now point out locations your friends (on Google+, of course) have liked if they fall within the criteria of your search. Very neat. There's also a brand-new dedicated tablet UI.
One thing that has been long overdue, I think we can all agree, is a new Google Maps Navigation experience. Wait no more: it's here.
The new navigation UI isn't a massive overhaul, but it has some great new features, like real-time, dynamic rerouting based on traffic conditions. Yes, that does sound fantastic. Color me excited. If Maps discovers that a quicker alternate route is available, it will suggest that route in the navigation UI, and let you know how much time you'll save by taking it. Navigation will also alert you to traffic incidents on your routes as they occur.
Again, the new Maps update for Android isn't scheduled to actually go live until this summer, so you'll have to wait to really dig into this pretty amazing new experience. There's also a totally-revamped desktop experience (it is crazy cool - read more about it here), which you'll be able to sign up to preview here shortly. Here's a video of that new desktop experience (nothing official about the mobile app yet, sorry!).