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Last Updated: July 15th, 2013

If you haven't heard yet, Google Maps received its biggest Android update in, well, ever earlier this week. This is an all-new app in any practical sense, and it's going to take some getting used to. Not only has Google changed the way basically everything works in at least some sense of the word, it's also gone on something of a culling expedition - the new Maps app is way more streamlined and, frankly, simpler than the old one. There is less stuff.

This is going to upset some of you, because some of you used those things which are no longer in the app. The location history interface is gone. Latitude is gone (and will be dying on August 9th). Search result sorting and filters are gone. My Maps is gone (but it will be coming back). The dedicated Google Offers interface is gone. Google Local is gone (replaced by "Explore"). And those are just the bigger things that have been removed.

Anyway, let's get down to business: what's new, what's changed, and what's no longer present?

Layers are out, the view menu is in

Screenshot_2013-07-11-14-43-14

Layers are not actually gone, they're just not called layers anymore. The little slideout menu hanging out on the left hand side of the map, aka the views menu, has replaced the layers interface. You can still have satellite view and traffic information while picking through search results or looking at directions, don't worry. Pretty much everything you did with layers can be accomplished with the views menu, it just works a little differently. This is also where the settings menu is housed. And for some reason, a link to go to Google Earth.

Two noteworthy things have gone from the old layers menu, though: terrain view and My Maps. The latter will return in a future update, according to Google.

Offline maps are still here, but different

In the first release of Maps 7.0, Google offered up a hacky solution for adding offline maps - just say or type "OK Maps" in the search dialog while the area you want to store is up. A small update released yesterday now adds a dedicated button to make the current area available offline, to find it, just tap the search bar and scroll down to the bottom.

Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-44-15

The drawback to the new button is that if the area you have selected is too large, you have to keep opening the search UI over and over until the selected area is within the acceptable dimensions. That's actually pretty annoying, if I'm honest.

By the way, saving an area for offline use is now waaaaaaaaay faster. Remember when saving a big swath took like 15 minutes and was basically not worth it over a mobile data connection? It seems like Google has been hard at work on fixing this, and for whatever reason, the result is a much, much quicker experience.

Offline maps / cache can no longer can be cleared - the options are gone. If you want to clear these things, you will presumably have to clear the entire app cache from your phone's settings menu.

Navigation is basically completely different

Google promised a major overhaul of navigation, and they've provided it. Navigation looks different (read: a lot better), no longer feels like it's a "separate" app outside of Maps, and has a lot of new stuff going on. On the fly notifications about traffic incidents that allow you to route around heavy congestion is one of the biggies, though we'll have to see how reliable / useful that ends up being in practice.

Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-45-24 Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-47-19 Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-47-10

Visually, everything looks way better, and road names and landmarks are much more readable with the new fonts. Functionally, once again, Google is probably going to upset some people here. Let's look at what's gone in terms of the turn-by-turn navigation experience.

  • Street view preview: Gone.
  • Route and alternates: Gone. You have to go back to the directions page in Maps to select a new route (easy enough - just tap the "x"), and those routes' times and traffic details aren't updated based on your present position, as far as we can tell. Hopefully that gets fixed.
  • Layers menu: Gone. Replaced by satellite view toggle, and traffic is displayed by default (gas stations, ATMs, restaurants etc. are all gone).
  • Other options: Screen dimming is gone (presumably this is now automatic), shortcuts to search, set destination, and help are gone as well.
  • On-screen zoom in / out buttons: Gone.

What's been added? Well, there's a convenient little "x" in bottom left corner that lets you exit navigation immediately and go back to the directions / routing view in Maps. This does make the loss of the alternate routes feature a little more bearable, and technically requires fewer taps to change route.

If you want to go to the next step in the route manually, you now swipe from left to right instead of tapping on the arrow. Because gestures.

Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-46-58

Traffic incidents are also now displayed inside the navigation UI, and are very clearly marked with various symbols. Tapping on them displays the nature of the incident and any other information inside of a card at the top of the display. These are also displayed, as they have been for a while, in the main maps interface when the traffic layer is up.

Directions shortcut

This is a brand-new item you'll notice in the search bar. Just tap on the two intertwining roads, and you'll get the new directions UI. It's beautiful. It's also pretty smart. If you're not near home or work, they'll be suggested as your top two suggested destinations (my location is your starting point by default). Your other probable destinations (based on check-ins, saved places, search history, etc.) will also appear as suggestions. This really is pretty dang convenient.

Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-53-57 Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-54-48 Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-54-54

To change your mode of transit (which can be done up until you actually select a final route), just use the little tabs up at the top of the screen. There's also now a dedicated "flip start / end point" button on the right hand side of your start point and destination. Fantastic.

Your profile

Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-41-44

Next to the directions shortcut is a little bust of a person - that's your profile. Tap it, and it'll show your home and work addresses, the number of Google reviews you've written (you can see the reviews by tapping), recently saved places, and recently access places (eg, your history). It's pretty neat, though I'm not sure why it needed a dedicate button in what is arguably the most prominent section of the app.

Latitude is dead

On August 9th, Latitude will be no more. That's OK with me, because I never thought Latitude was all that great in the first place as check-in networks go, but the service did have its dedicated users. They will also bemoan Google's suggested alternative: Google+ location sharing, which A.) is not part of the Maps app (at least for now), and B.) not much of a replacement for Latitude in general, so much as "the only other Google option." There's even a button in the view menu dedicated to redirecting confused Latituders.

Screenshot_2013-07-11-14-43-14

Latitude is not part of the new Maps app, and it never will be. RIP Latitude.

Location history data is no longer accessible

Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-43-18

The only access you have to Google's Location History service on Android now comes in the form of a toggle: on or off. The location history interface is no longer in the Maps app, but is still accessible on the web at maps.google.com/locationhistory. The location history service is still running, though, as it's a big part of what powers Google Now's location-sensitive suggestions. You just don't get the raw data on your device anymore.

It is unclear if the location history UI will make a return, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Maps history: finally a way to go back in time

Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-43-10

While the few recent locations the search dialogue in Maps brings up are alright, they're really no substitute for a full history of the places you've been. There's now a dedicated Maps history area, accessible via the settings menu. Maps history is also integrated into the search dialogue, below the "Services" card, showing places from your history that are near your current location. History includes things like old Latitude check-ins, Google+ check-ins, your home / work address, starred places (now called "saved" locations), as well as the obvious stuff like search queries and places you've navigated / gotten directions to in the past. Items can be deleted from your history, too.

Maps labs and display settings are gone

This also will undoubtedly piss off a great horde of internet commenters - all of the labs and display options from the old version of Maps are gone. In fact, labs is gone. No more toggle for zoom in / out buttons, no more map scale, no big font, no measuring tool, elevation profile in walking / biking directions, and no intersection explorer (though Intersection Explorer is also its own app). It is unclear at this point if Google intends to bring any of these options back.

Google Offers takes a back seat

Screenshot_2013-07-12-12-01-28 Screenshot_2013-07-12-12-01-35

Google Offers is integrated into the new Maps app, but you'll only see it in your search results or through the Explore interface. You can no longer just pull up a list of nearby offers, which is probably for the best, since Google Offers has its own app and never really made sense as a dedicated part of the Maps app. One less button to deal with. You can still take advantage of offers directly through the Maps app, you just have to stumble upon one in the first place.

The traffic widget is gone, the old directions widget sort of replaces it

I won't get crazy in depth here, because we've actually got a whole article up about this change and the directions widget - check it out. The tl;dr is that the old traffic time estimate widget you could set to certain destinations is gone, but the old directions wdiget makes a decent replacement, bringing up the directions interface for a pre-set destination (or turn by turn navigation) and giving you time estimates and route options. It's more useful, but you do lose the at-a-glance information the old traffic widget.

Search filters and sorting are gone

There is no way to sort or filter results in Google Maps 7.0. I can imagine this is going to get a lot of people fuming, and I'll admit, it's not obvious why Google removed them. They were rather ugly and added a lot of clutter to the results page, but some people are going to get seriously flustered over this.

It's entirely possible the Maps team is working on a new implementation, but I think it's equally likely someone decided they just weren't used or useful enough to warrant the space they consumed. There's also the fact that they really weren't that great in practice in many situations. Dollar sign cost ratings are extremely subjective (based on region, cuisine, etc.), and looking for businesses "open now" automatically removed those without listed hours from the results. The few times I've used Maps to scout out potential dinner choices, I rarely even used the filters for fear of removing a potentially good choice because I didn't really trust Google's data.

The fact that the Explore interface now lets you select from many more categories (such as type of restaurant), though, negates the utility of some of the filters, and pertinent information like hours, type of restaurant, cost, star rating, and even Zagat awards are now clearly displayed on each restaurant's card in the result list.

My general inclination here is that Google wants you to get away from a "search and refine" mentality (using rules and data manipulation techniques to get the best possible set of results), and push you toward using the Explore tool instead.

Explore is the new Google Local (may not be available in some regions)

Explore is the replacement for Google Local, and apparently for search filtering and sorting. And by replacement, I mean "the thing Google expects you to use instead of those things." Explore feels like the bridge between Google Now and Maps, because it's more than just a bunch of nested categories of things - it's Google's collective knowledge of points of interest in a given area.

Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-44-05 Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-44-21 Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-44-28

You access Explore by tapping the search bar, and hitting the Explore card. This isn't the greatest implementation, and I've noticed on several occasions that sometimes the Explore card just fails to load when I open the search dialog. Perhaps a second shortcut in the left-hand sidebar might be a good idea, because right now this is way too annoying to get to.

Anyway, exploration is broken down into five categories - eat, drink, shop, play, and sleep. Your results are based on the currently highlighted map area.

Screenshot_2013-07-12-12-06-13

For "eat," you then get subcategories presented as more cards. The "more categories" section also seems to intelligently adjust the types of restaurants it will suggest based on where you are.The first category is "Local favorites," which comprises highly rated restaurants with lots of reviews or, apparently, restaurants rated highly by Google "top reviewers." I would bet confidently that popularity among locals also plays into the results, because the top 3 in my area are definitely local hotspots.

I have no idea how one gets a "top reviewer" badge in Google's review system, but I noticed one guy gave like a dozen restaurants in my area 5 stars, many of which I know to be less than fantastic. Google, I hate to break it to you, but going on a 5-star-everything rampage does not a "top reviewer" make. Tl;dr - Google is still dumb when it doesn't have good data to rely on. I switched to a more dense region for exploration and the results in this tab were much better.

Another interesting card is "popular with tourists." Yes, Google is actually indexing the popularity of places in an area based upon whether or not people who visit them are from that region. This is really, really cool. Based on the results, it seems about right, too.

When you tap on a result in Explore, you fly back to the map with the place highlighted and a little location tab at the bottom of the screen. Pull up, and you get the full place card. You can also swipe left or right on this tab and scroll through other results on the map for whatever it is you're exploring. Oddly, you can't explore on the map without tapping a result first. This seems very weird to me - there should be a way out to the map that is more obvious.

While Explore is by no means perfect, it's a hell of a lot better than Google Local was, and the presentation of results is solid.

Place cards were completely redesigned

This is most easily explained with a side-by-side comparison. On the left is the old place card. On the right is the new one.

Screenshot_2013-07-12-13-01-02 Screenshot_2013-07-12-13-01-12

Everything has been rearranged. Places now display categories (US Bank is, you guessed it, a "Bank"), reporting a problem with a listing is featured front and center (it never made sense to me that Google hid it in the overflow menu), and the whole star / directions / share / call button setup has been rearranged completely. There's no longer a separate tab for photos, either. This is a million times cleaner and easier to visually parse. Well done.

One notable feature removed from place cards is the "nearby places" section. I can't say I ever used it, but it was kind of neat, I suppose.

Gestures

Who doesn't like a gesture or two? Like I talked about in explore, results can be flipped through while in the maps interface by swiping left or right along the white bar on the bottom of the UI. This also works for directions - just swipe on the tab at the bottom while you have the directions up on the map, and you'll switch routes. Pull up on the tab to go back to the directions / place page.

Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-43-42 Screenshot_2013-07-12-11-43-50

Google also claims that swiping from left to right with two fingers will open the views tab, but it doesn't work on any of my devices.

Fused location provider should reduce battery consumption - a lot

Google announced the fused location provider as part of the new Location API at Google I/O in May. They promised 1% battery drain per hour with the new FLP working in the background, and early reports seem to confirm that the new version of Google Maps is dramatically less power-hungry. The fused location provider intelligently combines cell network, Wi-Fi, and GPS (when needed) location information from your devices and then manages your location in the cloud (meaning Google has yet another 'Play Store device only' hook in Android), and sends it back to apps and services requesting your location. As a result, you'll notice Maps no longer has a bunch of secondary services running constantly. As more apps adopt the FLP (and they will), the battery-saving benefits will only increase. Maps' network location gathering has always been a power drain issue on Android, and this new update seems to do a lot to rectify that

The smaller stuff
  • The services card, aka everything else: The services card sits below the Explore card in the search dialogue. This is where you'll be able to find gas stations, pharmacies, convenience stores, parking, an ATM, or one another dozen or so POIs. It works. (May not be available in some regions.)
  • Search for contacts directly from the Maps app: This has been on iOS for quite some time, but it's just now come to Android. Just start typing a contact's name (that is synced with Google and has an address in their contact card), and you'll see that contact in the list of updating suggested results. Handy. (May not be available in some regions.)
  • Shake to report a bug: In the settings menu, there is a toggle for shaking your phone to report a bug in Maps. I think this is hilarious.
  • Home and work locations can be edited: No more diving into the bowels of Google Now to switch your home and work locations. Just edit directly from the Maps settings menu.
  • The Wikipedia layer is gone: And nobody cared.
  • Location settings now goes to Google location settings: Instead of Latitude, location settings sends you to your Google account location settings, where you can toggled location reporting and location history for each of your accounts, as well as Google Apps location access.
  • Distance units: You can now force your maps into miles or kilometers, or just leave the setting on "automatic."
  • Earlier / Later Trips in transit directions: The option to display a range of transit departure times has been removed - you now must manually adjust your departure time to see other options.
Even more?

If you think we missed a new feature, or the removal of an old one, let us know in the comments - we'll add it in.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Nikolay Abromov

    To make the navigation even better - they need to add 'speedometer' and current speed limit for the road. This is one of the features I would like to see.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      I'd definitely like to see this too, but I'm also worried about it. I've tried out speedometer apps before and they typically blow ass. Especially since 99% of people have a functional speedometer already built in to their dash with much better information.

      That being said, current speed limit on a given road is so unbelievably obvious that I can't imagine why it's not already part of every mapping service. Unless Google is just worried about telling you one speed limit, local officials changing it, then someone ends up suing Google over their traffic ticket. Honestly, given how many speed traps there are in my area, I wouldn't blame them.

      • tyguy829

        ford does it in their mytouch nav system and i find it to work quite well

      • Guest

        ah, this looks promising! Thank you!

      • John Schaffer

        Scout navigation does the speed limit, as to other GPS devices, so someone has figured out a way to limit their risk. That said, I like both the speed and speed limit because sometimes I forget and it may be a long time before I see another speed limit sign.

    • fzammetti

      Can't second this enough. Although, for speedometer at least, grab a copy of Ulysse Speedometer:

      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.binarytoys.speedometer&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5iaW5hcnl0b3lzLnNwZWVkb21ldGVyIl0.

      Has a nifty feature where it can superimpose the speedometer over (most) other apps, Maps definitely included (see screenshots in the store). Won't give you the speed limits, which I definitely want too, and still kinda sucks having to have two apps running, but it works rather well for the first part of your needs.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      I won't claim to understand the tech behind this, but I do know that my way-old TomTom GPS unit did this, knew speed limits, and was - for the most part - very accurate. So this is something I've always wanted to see in Google Maps.

      • Nikolay Abromov

        +1

      • tylerbrainerd

        I think it may require a much heftier gps chip than the one typically in phones, but I could be wrong.

        • EH101

          Definitely not. I use this app to view the speed of my truck and my motorcycle. It is 100% accurate according to two highway police officers I had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting.
          http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.codesector.speedview.free

          • tylerbrainerd

            Interesting. I have not had good luck with mph apps.

          • EH101

            This is one of two apps I tried and it seemed more accurate but I couldn't know for sure. I wouldn't be surprised if The gps hardware in different phones plays a part in the accuracy but this app has been spot on with my Galaxy Nexus and now my Note 2.

          • Ezzy

            Every 3rd party Navigation app has speed included in the on-screen displays.

        • Ryan Stewart

          I dont know if its going to be incredibly reliable for telling YOUR speed in the city but I have had good luck on the highway, even with older phones. When I was in an area without data it would switch to a console screen that had location data, next turn and speed on it.

          It would still be handy to have it list the speed on the road though, if Google mapped it. I know its not going to be 100% accurate but some states seem to put 5 miles between speed limit signs. It would be nice to have something to go off of.

        • Danny Kees

          I use Navigon and it displays speeds correctly 95% of the time.

        • Mark

          It's not that complicated. GPS tell you where you are. You're here one second, there the next. Simple arithmetic should give you speed. But it is extra code, extra development, and added drain on batteries for a feature they wouldn't really create any new revenue. Probably not a high priority.

          • atomly

            It takes no extra battery to compute your speed-- they are by necessity already calculating your position at any given moment in time, since this is how any GPS app works, otherwise it wouldn't know where you are, would't be able to tell you when to turn, etc.-- to obtain speed you simply need to calculate the time required to move from one location to another, a very trivial operation.

      • Gav456

        Before I got my first android,I had a Nokia n97, ovi maps did this, also if you switched voice to "surfer dude" and you were approaching a speed camera he said "either slow down, or wave and say cheese"

      • squiddy20

        My guess is that the various GPS companies have people go out and catalog the speed limits of various roads, compile it into a database, and that's what's used when you're driving around. I believe a database of this nature for a given state would only be a few megabytes since we're dealing in plain text. Though it's not hard to at least make an educated guess at speed limits in a given area (65-75 on most highways, 25-35 in school/residential zones, etc.

        • One An9ry N00b

          Actually google already has speed limits cataloged. If you ever edit in google maps, you will notice most major roadways already have speed limits already listed.......but the only way you can see them is by map editor.....I think the only thing google uses them for right now is destination calculations...sadly

          • quick

            Interesting. It makes sense I guess, they need it to give accurate travel times, and current traffic conditions etc.

            My best guess is Google doesn't want to be held liable or open itself up to problems with giving out speed limits. For example someone gets a speeding ticket or worse incidents because they were told an incorrect speed limit.

            I personally think this is a very minor issue (I'm sure there is some Google lawyers who disagree) but I hope they would add it to maps eventually.

            One immediate change they need is add route options overview back to navigation without having to exit. Showing 3 options with their distance and time on one screen, this is crucial when driving for me anyway, I use it all the time.

            The way they changed it, is very poor. Gives you less info, requires you to exit Nav and if I'm driving I don't want to miss a turn cause I had to back out of Navigation to check alt routes. Also requires you to swipe through the alt routes, which makes it harder to pick between better option. Sometimes you want to take the slower route that is a shorter distance or a faster route that is a little longer distance wise.

            Anyway great article! Thanks for the breakdown of the new/changed features, really helpful!

          • Mobile Phones Fan

            My best guess is Google doesn't want to be held liable or open itself up to problems with giving out speed limits.

            Or at very least, they've got people working on the best way to handle the issue so as to minimize liability. And I don't envy them that task, as it likely varies on a state-by-state basis.

            Similarly, ever notice how GMaps Navigation balks at uttering the phrase, 'Make a U-turn', much less showing a U-turn diagram or instructions? Instead, you'll typically be sent several blocks out of your way in a gentle, roundabout version of same...maybe one-quarter mile up the road to the nearest 4-way intersection with a jug-handle lane. Can't get sued for that. ;-)
            .

          • Ryan Stewart

            I think they are still covered because every time you use navigation for the first time its listed as a "beta."

          • pfmiller

            I get told to make a U-turn all the time. Sometimes it gets it wrong and tells me to make a U-turn in one of the few spots in CA where they are not allowed.

          • Melissa Peterson

            Thankfully, maps doesn't do that to me anymore. It would always say make a u-turn, even though they are illegal in OR with the exception of where it's posted.

          • jurrabi

            If they cared so much about that to take it off, they shouldn't give routes either as those might throw people off cliffs. And they do that.
            Any gps software's first statement when you first run it is a warning avoiding any liability over indications as they might be wrong. And that would apply too to speed limits if they cared to provide them.

          • mechapathy

            Don't forget self-driving cars.

        • Adam Truelove

          Google could do this quickly and easily by algorithmically looking at all their street view pics and processing all the speed limits signs.

      • Omar Al Matar

        We can specify the road speed limit while mapping the roads in Google Map Maker, So they already have all that :)

    • http://www.ronakg.com/ Ronak Gandhi

      +1 to this. In addition, I'd also like to see my ETA in terms of time and distance, not only duration. I love Waze's main navigation screen. The way it displays all the information. Speedometer is turned off by default. It appears on right bottom corner when enabled.

      I also like that street names are always horizontal, which makes them very easy to read. Unlike street names in Google Maps which are aligned with the streets.

      • tyguy829

        When in the new nav, tap the bar on the bottom where it shows time remaining to cycle between eta and distance. It does all 3, just not at the same time.

    • mesmorino

      No, we don't need a speedometer. Every single vehicle out there has one, BY DESIGN AND BY LAW. A satnav device does not need one and will never need one, it's just one more redundant feature. Next we'll be asking for a tachometer too. Maybe a fuel gauge, while we're at it

      • Tyler Matt

        I think you misunderstand what they're asking for. They're saying they would like to know the current speed limit on the road they are on, if I'm not mistaken.

        • mesmorino

          No, they're asking for both. At least the OP was, and he's the one I replied to.

          • Jason Rittenhouse

            My old Garmin had a speedometer and I liked it because it was a digital display instead of analog. Not really a big deal but kind of nice. Not all cars are implementing digital speedometers.

      • Brian Knapp

        But it would be nice if it could alert you that you are exceeding the speed limit.

        • mesmorino

          I agree, and most satnav devices do that already, since they have the roads' speed limits included in their database. What they don't have is a speedometer

          • injuneer25

            Actually, my Garmin DOES have a speedometer, and I use it all the time in rental cars.

          • mesmorino

            And is that because those rental cars do not have functioning speedometers? Or are you just using the feature because it's there?

        • Melissa Peterson

          Not that people seem to care though, I'm always seeing people either driving under or over the speed limit even as they drive past a posted speed sign that is extremely obvious to spot.

      • Babs Oyed

        It's a free country, you don't have to use the feature if it's added.

        While you're at it why not just revert to hand drawn maps too.

        • mesmorino

          I waiting for the stupid comment to come along and boy did you deliver. You can fuck right off now, seeing as it's a free country and I'm as free to reject a feature as they are to ask for one.

          Especially if it's a stupid one, which you don't seem to have grasped.

          • Jeff Baker

            My bike doesn't have a speedometer.

          • Ror

            Everyone forgets about bicyclists.

          • Ezzy

            Every "me me me me I don't need this so no one else does either" commenter, you mean.

          • Ror

            Why we can't have nice things, etc.

      • squiddy20

        As was pointed out to me, some people's speedometers can be off by a few mph/kph, and they'd be none the wiser until they either got pulled over by a cop or used an app with a speedometer feature. Just because you don't have a use for it, doesn't mean others won't.

        • mesmorino

          Your argument is null and void because if your speedometer is off by enough numbers to trip a speed camera or get a cop to stop you, then your car needs servicing. The solution is to fix the car, not to shoehorn a speedo into a device that doesn't require it.

          *NOBODY* has a use for a speedometer in a satnav device, your car won't even pass it's MOT if it's speedometer isn't accurate enough!

          It's one thing to want an unnecessary feature, but it's another thing entirely to try dressing up that feature as a need or a necessity. People can want whatever they like, it's a free country after all. But when you start trying to claim it's some kind of awesome feature, then no, I disagree.

          I mean, how are people surviving now, without speedometers in their satnav devices? And what about the people who don't even have satnav devices? My point is that it is an unnecessary feature. It's not like the vehicle industry is just going to suddenly up and forget about a critical part of their product desgins

          • squiddy20

            1. Soooo it's not even remotely possible that you could be doing the 5 mph over the speed limit that the cops usually won't pull you over for and your speedometer says you're going 3 or 4 mph slower than you actually are? Please.
            2. Show me where I stated anything about actually replacing the in dash speedometer with the one on a GPS unit. I merely stated all this to be able to possibly diagnose the problem, not replace it.
            3. In the several years that I've owned a car I've never seen a test done to check the accuracy of the speedometer (I live in the Northern Virginia area, which has somewhat strict rules/regulations on emissions and such). Further, the MOT test only included speedometer checks sometime last year. There could still be a few cars on the road that haven't gotten the annual test and have a speedometer discrepancy.
            4. Again, show me where I stated or even implied it would be "some kind of awesome feature". It's just an additional bit of info that would take up no more than a quarter inch on most 4 inch screens. Hey, here's a grand idea, make it an option so those who don't want it, don't have to use it! Revolutionary!

          • mesmorino

            Here, let me address a few of your points:

            1) No, it is not remotely possible that I could be doing 5mph over the 30, and my speedometer says I'm doing 30. This is because I know what 30mph feels like, and I'm not driving in isolation now am I? If everyone is averaging 25-35mph, and I'm overtaking them, slowing down might be in order. "My speedometer doesn't work properly" is not an excuse the cops will listen to, and speed cameras can't even be negotiated with.

            2)You keep saying "show me where I stated". You haven't. And I haven't said or implied that you have either. We're just having a (friendly) discussion aren't we?

            3)Like that other dumbass pointed out, it's a free country, and people are free to want whatever they like, for whatever reason they like. I completely agree with this. The problem with asking for pointless and unnecessary features is that they raise the cost of these devices.

            Your car has a perfectly functional speedometer. It is required by law to have this. You in turn, are required by law to know and adhere to the speed limit for the road you're on. Right there we have two converging points that preclude the necessity of an extraneous speedometer. Everyone is free to want a speedometer in their satnav, but why would you? Conversely, a very good reason for not wanting an all singing all dancing satnav device is that it'll naturally be more expensive. You can have all sorts of functions in all sorts of devices, but these not only make the things more expensive, they arguably distract from the core function:

            Keep it simple, do it brilliantly, job done.

          • mechapathy

            Dude. Stop pretending that your opinion is everyone's fact.

          • mesmorino

            Er, excuse you? I think you'll find I haven't been doing that. My entire position has been and still is that we don't need that feature. If you want facts, here are some:

            Vehicles are mandated by law to have working speedometers
            You are mandated by law to be aware of the speed limits of whatever road you're on. This is in fact a condition of you passing your driving test.

            Therefore, it is MY OPINION that satnav devices do not need a speedometer feature, and if you are any sort of competent driver you will have no use for such a feature as well.

          • mechapathy

            "*NOBODY* has a use for a speedometer in a satnav device..." - sounds like a statement of fact to me.

            Unless you're on a bicycle. Which you seem to be ignoring. Google Maps does biking nav.

          • mesmorino

            Ah I see. Allow me to amend that to "no motorist".

          • Ezzy

            I'm pretty sure speedometers aren't mandatory in every country btw. For example here, in Finland, speedometers became mandatory in cars in 1984, therefore, if your car is older than that, you don't have to have one. Same goes for seatbelts etc.

          • kenbron

            Many of my friends and family are strident bike riders. They love the ever improving bike navigation offered. I use my bike on occasion so optimal bike routing is something I like to check out in google maps. There is no law mandating bike speedometers.

          • injuneer25

            I think Google should just shut down Maps entirely. It is not needed. You can buy a TomTom or Garmin or any other SatNav device. It is not a needed function of a PHONE. Just because you want a navigation system on your phone, doesn't make it a necessary feature. If we just delete the entire app, it will save all of the whining going on here.

      • The Gift

        No, this isn't a required feature but I would like to see it. Especially since Google is already using your speed data to do calculations. Also, when I travel by train I enjoy knowing how fast I'm moving...its a bit of a novelty but there's no need to exclude it from Options. I actually confirmed once that my speedo was "off" in my car using a speedo app from the Play Store, so it proved to me that different people would use this feature for different reasons...no need for anyone to get upset over the suggestion...can't we all just get along? -(see what I did there)

        • Funem

          Satnavs use the cars speed to estimate your ETA on your journey,they just don't always have the option to display it. The "feature" is already there just not visible. I personally wouldn't take much notice of the Satnav speedo as it can in no way be as accurate as the cars own one.

      • didibus

        You lack imagination if you can't understand the usefulness of having the nav app know your speed:

        1) It can be used to give more accurate eta, because it could based itself on your actual speed, if you go slower than speed limit, or higher than speed limit.

        2) It can be used to give more accurate traffic info, because it could instantly tell how fast people are going on a given street at a given time, this is what Waze does, and why it has way better traffic info than Gmaps.

        3) It could alert you if you are inadvertently going faster than the speed limit, say you are in a new city, and you enter a school zone, etc. but didn't see the sign, the nav app could signal it you, potentially saving you a hefty ticket.

        I'm sure there might exist other useful things that could be done if the app had a speedometer. Displaying the speed on the screen might not be too useful, since your car already displays it and is probably more accurate, but the ability to know the speed in the app is very useful.

      • Felipe13

        Waze has a speedometer and it works great.

      • Ezzy

        Speedometers lie, GPS's not so much. And a tach/fuel gauge/anything else can be added to any Android device via an ODB2 Bluetooth dongle and an app such as Torque.

    • Pratik Holla

      Lane assist would help so much as well. Why not just buy Garmin and put the data in? That would net the speed limit and current speed as well. :)

    • Adam Truelove

      And lane assist.

    • El_Marko

      You're right, Nikolay Abromov, Google Maps ought to have speed limits. My Nokia N8 does, for the last 3+ years. Then, Nokia bought Naviteq and that was a smart move.

  • JPB

    Layers are out. Views are in. OK.....so I have a whole bunch of maps that I saved using "My Tracks" that used to be viewable through the My Maps layer. How do I show them now?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      From the very end of the article:

      "My Maps: It's gone. It will be coming back at some point, according to Google."

      • JPB

        So, in other words: Broken by Design....time to move on to using someone else's mapping.

        • marcusmaximus04

          Well, seems more like: They basically remade the whole app from scratch and didn't have time to do it for this release but are working on it for the future.

        • Mobile Phones Fan

          So, in other words: Broken by Design....

          No.

          More like they wanted to push out a release with the major API features settled -- and watch for public feedback -- before working on the smaller details.

          Remember, Google's data tells them which map-related utilities are critical: those accessed most often and by more users. If another maps app suits you better, switch.

    • Mobile Phones Fan

      I know it's an imperfect solution, but you can still access your stored maps/tracks from the Google Maps Web app.

      See my post from a coupole minutes ago.:

      http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/07/12/whats-really-new-in-google-maps-for-android-7-0-a-lot-heres-our-massive-unofficial-changelog/#comment-962537988
      .

  • Silas Arentsen

    The google maps proces doesnt keep running like on 6.0! I used to have 2 google maps processes all the time when i never opened it! Now it's gone :) Even when i open GMaps and close it

    • http://ridukkokun.wordpress.com/ Dukkokun

      Yeah, it's using the new location api. And it's GREAT. I'm a guy who used to tinker with greenify, tasker and stuff like that searching for the perfect battery life recipe. I tried going naked a day or two: I can confirm the 1%/hr claim.

      • Grimmjow

        i don't think the purpose of the location API was to give real time GPS location. Maps is still using GPS. The purpose was to give location data to a plethora of location based apps in a battery efficient manner which did not need frequent and very precise location.

        • Matt

          The location API is about giving real time location and it uses a combination of GPS/WiFi ssid data/cell network, depending on which is most accurate even for apps that require precise location. Obviously while you're driving around, GPS is going to get the most usage. However, if you're using Maps indoors (say to look for another bar when you're at one or to navigate a shopping center with indoor maps), then WiFi will likely be used far more.

          Based on the Location API video from Google I/O (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bte_GHuxUGc&list=PLOU2XLYxmsIJOOTFfYzhR2d-rcSbBbEE_&index=19), this is likely to play a big role in battery efficiency in everything from Endomondo to Maps to Foursquare to anything that requires your location, regardless of whether it's precise or rough.

        • http://ridukkokun.wordpress.com/ Dukkokun

          No, wait. I'm talking about the background location reporting of Maps, formerly Latitude.

      • tylerbrainerd

        it's much faster, too.

  • ranova

    Whats new?
    - Better UI
    - Sluggish performance (even on a 4.2.2 HTC One)

    Whats gone?
    - A hell lot more than was added

    They need to improve performance and fix UI inconsistencies. For navigation, the bottom bar is so empty; yes you can tap between ETA, time left, distance left - Why the hell didn't they have ALL that info at the bottom. I understand minimalism, but thats ridiculous not to have

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      It does run pretty slow, but this has been my experience with the new desktop version, too. Something tells me there is a lot of optimization that is yet to happen, and they're more worried about getting other stuff working.

      • moelsen8

        the desktop version is so slow it's almost unusable

      • mesmorino

        The new desktop version is only slow on my work pc... But then that's a win xp machine with 2gb ram from 2007. On my 3yr old laptop it's super slick. Then again, that has 8gb ram and is running win 8, so... Your rig has a part to play, I'd say. I've tried it on different browsers too, chrome, Firefox and ie, it runs fastest on chrome on both machines, but the laptop beats the work pc every single time

        • Bleakvision

          It's a frigging map. A Core2Duo can definitely handle a map, if it's done right.

        • john

          I have an Intel i3-3227u, 1.9GHz dual core quad thread 4GB laptop. My computer is pretty peppy, but it struggles with the new Maps.

      • kjolie

        works fine for me....ok, I'm on i7 with 16 gig of ram but still...

    • Adam Truelove

      "I understand minimalism"

      Apparently you don't. You want ETA, time left, and distance left all plastered across the bottom of the screen at the same time? Talk about cluttered. What font size would you like to use to show all that info?

      • ranova

        uhhh:
        http://imgur.com/OuSJVUE.jpg

        Look at all that empty space at the bottom bar. A lot of wasted space != minimalism

        You could increase the font size and fit all that info in it

      • ranova

        Good example of having useful information without being cluttered:
        http://www.gpspassion.com/upload/MioMap33_QSReborn13.jpg

        If they can make it look like that on a small 3.5" 480x320 screen, why not on a 4.7"+ 1080p screen? Can obviously omit current speed, status bar, and current time.

        Another example from iOS Maps Nav UI:
        http://media.idownloadblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/iOS-6-Maps-turn-by-turn-teaser.jpg

        • Jason Rittenhouse

          As far as aesthetics go (you mentioned minimalism), Google's looks much better. It would be nice to have the option to display all three at the same time (ETA, time and distance left) but I wouldn't want the clutter of your screenshots forced on my maps experience.

          • ranova

            I agree, it should be an option.

  • moelsen8

    furious internet commenter here. i want my display options back.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I will tell the Google.

      • Rahul

        Hey David, why does the heading say Android 7.0? Shouldn't it be Maps 7.0 Android 4.2+ or whatever. o.0

        • Shitiz Garg

          It's (Google maps for Android) 7.0, not Google Maps for (Android 7.0).

          • Funem

            Think you want quotes not brackets..
            It's "Google maps for Android" 7.0, not Google Maps for "Android 7.0".
            Sorry everyone else is being pernickety. I thought I would give it a go.
            Carry on....

          • Josh Brown

            *Leak*: AP confirms next version of Android will be Android 7.0. Already in wide rollout.

  • Andrew Kachaniwsky

    Guess I don't get a "Services" card in Canada? It is not part of the search panel.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      How strange. While using the app I noticed cards are loaded from the web and are not a dedicated part of the UI (like Google Now), and I'm guessing that's why - regional limitations.

    • Justin

      Yeah, no explore in Canada, which is odd because I`m pretty sure we had `Local`in the old maps

      • Andrew Kachaniwsky

        We did have Local... weird. Maybe they're just "not ready" to launch it up here yet, as usual :/

  • tyguy829

    Why would they ever get rid of mass transit navigation? I can't think of a single reason

    • Andrew Kachaniwsky

      It never worked very well from my experience... always telling me to get off at the next stop when I've already exited the bus/streetcar/subway.

      • tyguy829

        yeah i mean there was always a slight delay until you exited the station since gps doesn't work well underground, but without nav mode, how am i supposed to find my way walking when i need to switch stations? I may need to get the maps 6 apk...

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          I mean, you could open Maps. And look at the map.

          • tyguy829

            that's true, but seems cumbersome since i usually just keep my phone in my pocket listening to music with headphones and just rely on the voice guidance.

  • NeighborBeGone

    Measure is gone?! How am I supposed to yell at my neighbor's encroachment on my property now with other non-precise methods?

    • ins0mn1a

      jokes aside, the fact that there is no measure in the maps app is just crazy. i hope this is just temporary. i am trying to imagine a design process that decides that a maps app doesn't need a measure: hey, it looks prettier without all the clutter, let's leave it out! i mean, i bet maps would look cleaner without all the street names and junk, why not leave them out too?

    • qsilverrrdc

      I use measure at least once a week. Please bring it back. ... please. .

  • Orange Juice

    One thing that irks me is that I can't swipe to switch transportation type in directions mode. It's seems odd, especially when there is no other side swiping gesture.

    Also in the iOS version, the way the menu comes up in navigation mode is much more pleasing to the eye. I'm not sure why they didn't use the same design in the Android one.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      In directions mode, swiping changes routes. Are you swiping along the bottom of the screen?

      • Orange Juice

        I'm not talking about changing routes. I mean changing the mode of transit. You talk about it in the section "Directions Shortcut" I wish I could swipe through the tabs car, public transit etc. instead of having to tap each tab.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          Oh, yeah, I guess that'd be nice.

  • Scott

    And I STILL haven't gotten the update on my phone.

    • Jaime

      What version of Android you have? This is for Android 7.0 only

      • Krzysztof Jozwik

        7.0 huh?

        • Jaime

          It says so on the title of the article.

          • Krzysztof Jozwik

            I think what it says is, Google Maps for Android v 7.0, not for Android 7.0 but Maps for Android 7.0, as in the version of maps for Android is 7.0 not the version of Android. I suppose if you intentionally misread it you can pretend they meant Android 7.0.

          • Pratik Holla

            Looks like i woont be gettting this version for about a decade. sigh....

          • Krzysztof Jozwik

            Maybe 3 years or so, give or take.

          • mechapathy

            I think @disqus_eDfGn6eKVz:disqus was making what some people call a joke.

      • squiddy20

        Android is only at 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean). Android 7.0 won't be out for another 3 years assuming each year is a major upgrade (not likely). The 7.0 bit is specific to the Maps app only.

    • letsplaaay

      If you're 4.0+, there is an older article here in AP that has links to download the new Maps yourself.

  • http://blog.k12.com/ Scott Holm

    Glad to hear My Maps will come back, but I really miss the terrain layer. For that reason, I'm not upgrading the app until I hear more. Also wanting measure back.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Forgot about terrain view - adding it in to the view menu section.

    • Frayed Knot

      Totally bummed about losing the terrain layer. I used it a lot. My phone will not let me uninstall the "update". I need an alternative.

  • John Bailey

    They apparently also took out "Show Earlier/Later Trips" in the transit directions :( I use transit directions for our bus system here A LOT and it was nice to be able to see when the next 3 later departure times were with one tap. Now I have to manually put the departure time in and it's just really cumbersome now.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Wow, that is a bummer. Adding a bullet.

      • John Bailey

        Thanks David! I submitted feedback thru the app about this, but I dunno how much effect that will have.... maybe the devs at El Goog might see this

    • Jason Rittenhouse

      Oh wow, that sucks. When I'm visiting larger cities, I used that feature all the time to plan my next set of routes.

  • ———

    It's just me that noticed a huge increase of performance in the battery life after the update?

  • acey_zero

    I just want to be able to view photospheres and also be able to see what area's have street view. I was hoping these would be added in this update, but apparently not.

  • Tony

    They also added much clearer ways to report a certain destination is mapped incorrectly in some way, such as this store is now closed. They may have had this before but it's a heck of a lot easier now.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      It used to actually live in the overflow menu button, now it's a dedicated item in the place listing. There are actually two "Report a problem" buttons now - I'm guessing that's a mistake. Thanks for the heads-up, though, adding it in.

  • Mike

    So staying on 6.14.4.....Zoom IN/OUT buttons....Labs for Measure and Bigger font (street names are VERY hard to read on a Droid DNA due to the high resolution). I like the older Trffic Widgets that shows me green yellow or red and the approx travel time instantly to my work/home.
    Sometimes progress takes a few steps backwards before leaping ahead...I feel version 7 is a frustrating step back right now,

  • Big Z

    Contacts addresses are not coming up for me. I try searching them, and nothing. Thoughts or suggestions?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I'm not sure. I would make double sure on a desktop browser that your Google contact card for that person actually has their address, and it's not just locally stored on your phone. Because it won't find that.

      • Big Z

        Just double sured....contact addresses are there in google contacts.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          Well, that's weird. Maybe they're working on it. I tested it myself and it worked for me.

        • br_hermon

          DId you by chance tell Google Search not to scan your contacts? (Presumably to speed up Google Now searching) Maybe that's it?

      • http://www.frogsparks.com/ Pierre-Luc Paour

        Contact search also doesn't work for me, nor explore (but I'm in France and I did force the update, perhaps the stated rollout

  • Jdban

    It really feels like a beta release.. I've encountered a bunch of bugs with the navigation rendering.

    • Indianajonze

      all google products are beta releases. this one seems a bit rougher than normal tho

  • duse

    I believe you missed one removed feature from navigation: the bottom bar where it shows time left to destination no longer also shows the road you're currently on. I liked that feature, now if you're wondering what road you're on you have to look at the map and hope that the text is displayed on the road at that moment.

    • Jason Rittenhouse

      Yeah, that was really handy. I haven't used the update yet so hopefully the name of the road you are on is always visible on the map itself.

  • kjolie

    it looks to me like transit options are still there?....I just tried it and it works on my nexus 7 in Canada...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Turn by turn navigation?

      • Paul Brocklehurst

        it gives routes, it doesn't give realtime nav (e.g. "get off at the next stop" voice prompts", or realtime ETA)

      • kjolie

        turn by turn - transit and even walking

        • screwdestiny

          Are you still getting voice nav? All it does for me in Boston (MBTA) is tell you the route. No actual navigation, so you'd be walking to and from transit with your nose stuck in the app, a prime target for getting hit! -_-;;

  • s_bomb

    If anyone wants the v7.0.1 APK or wants to revert to the older version, XDA thread here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2357873

    Great write-up, David and AP!

  • nxtiak

    where's the 7.0.1 apk??????

  • Pradaman Shorey

    Where can I find my Saved Maps, I know how to save a map, in the old google maps there was a special place to access offline maps but I cannot find the saved maps anywhere in the updated app.

    Note: I saved maps after the update

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      There is no management utility, as stated in the article:

      "Offline maps / cache no longer can be cleared: The options are gone. If you want to clear these things, you will presumably have to clear the entire app cache from your phone's settings menu."

      • Pradaman Shorey

        I am not talking about clearing the cache or offline maps,, I want to access the offline maps in absence of network, i cannot find offline maps, in old maps it was pretty clear

        • DavidHuggs

          I am getting trouble in finding the "Make This Area Available Offline" feature too. According to Google, you just have to adjust the area that you want to save on the screen of the device and then tap the search bar and find the option to make it available offline. But it's not working on my phone. I am sure Google is going to fix this and other issues very soon.

  • Mike Loomis

    It does not appear to be available on my Nexus 4. I am still definitely on the older Maps and the Play Store doesn't offer me the ability to update.

    • DavidHuggs

      The update is gradually being made available to the users.
      If you want it and can't wait, Android Police provided the APK file to install it manually right here: http://goo.gl/vIvr1

    • nagi

      Mine already has it. Can't wait to go back.

  • br_hermon

    I haven't received the update yet so let me get this straight....

    "Layers menu: Gone. Replaced by satellite view toggle, and traffic is displayed by default (gas stations, ATMs, restaurants etc. are all gone)."

    So you're telling me that when I'm using Navigation, and notice I'm running low on gas, I used to just pull up layers, chose gas stations, and quickly see what one's were along my route. (much like a real GPS unit) without ever actually having to leave navigation. Now that functionality is totally gone? If that's the case, that SUCKS!

    • http://planetmew.com/blog/ Christopher Glass

      Go to the reviews on the Play Store. It's getting blasted. Navigation is terrible now and not even remotely car friendly. It's downright awful and depressing.

      • DavidHuggs

        I believe most of the issues are due to the immatureness of the newly designed app. I am sure that an update is going to be released very soon. On the other hand, many complaints are from users that didn't get used to the app and then can't find features that in fact are still there.

        • http://planetmew.com/blog/ Christopher Glass

          Oh, I found the features, and I found them terrible.

          Examples:

          1) There's no easy way to change your current route. Before, you tapped in the bottom left corner to see your route and if alternates existed, you could tap the Alternate Route icon to see up to 3 possibilities side by side, all with times/distances and a visual overlay. NOW? Nothing. The only way to choose a route is dragging from the possible text boxes during your initial search. Even WORSE is that in landscape mode, only ONE BOX is visible at a time and the rest of the screen is wasted space. So now you have to pick ONE route ahead of time and you have NO IDEA how it looks until you pick it. And if you want to change, or avoid a freeway, you have to hit back twice, and scroll to a different one, once again with no visual path, and tap twice and pray it's the one you want. ADDITIONALLY, there's no protection to keep you from accidentally quitting out. Hit back one too many times or accidentally tap when you're dragging and you'll summon a separate search result for an entirely different destination.
          2) All your shortcuts are a mess. Previously you had three tabs of destinations when loading Navigation. It had starred locations, recent and contacts, all sorted by distance, with white text on a black background. NOW? It's light gray text on a white background all in one list with history at the top MIXED IN with some starred locations, and the rest are past a half-dozen or so history results. What the hell is that? Before it used to be very intelligent about knowing my destination, and now it's a super simplified list that's not useful for car mode.
          3) The actual display is lacking. No long can you see the road you are on. No longer can you quickly tap to see miles left. No, it's a 3-time toggle between time left, distance and time of arrival, regardless of the fact that on a 4.3" 1080p screen there's MORE than enough room to display all 3.

          I could go on, but using it today was terrible. Not to mention other bugs, like how the "Don't ask me about this again" checkbox for Wi-Fi reminder DOESN'T WORK.

          The features are there, sure, in the sense that if you cut off my fingers and sewed them to my shoulder blades, I could still use them. They took a system that worked and over simplified it to the point of stupidity instead of fixing REAL issues like being able to star or save a location from your Navigation search history.

          • pfmiller

            Another problem I don't like is that the traffic overview used to be accessible with one simple touch. Now you need to use a two finger gesture to zoom out in order to see it, much more awkward to do when driving.

  • RonD45

    Is there any way to run both the old and new maps. Could you have a Maps OLD and a Maps NEW, and choose which one you want to use. Seems like they both have there stong and weak points, and it would be nice to choose the best one for your current situation.

    • tyguy829

      THIS. Anyone?

    • Samsung Fanboy

      you're better off just uninstalling the updates, thats what I did now Im back to NORMAL maps.

  • Justin S

    i guess the check-in leaders board died with Latitude

  • ithehappy

    In short, 'a messy update'.
    Just like Hangout, now I will have to skip two apps instead of one when I update all my app every week or so. Nice move Goooooo .... :/

  • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

    Call me crazy, but I could have sworn searching for contacts' addresses by name was around like back around the old Android 1.6/2.x days for a while... Sometimes, it seems like a case of Google adding in features they removed before due to disuse.

  • cabbiebot

    Something I've always wanted is for the current portion of the route I'm on to be marked somehow in the directions while I'm in transit. If theres 10 turns I need to make on my way somewhere, why isn't the leg of that I'm currently on highlighted or bolded so I can glance and know what is coming next? I typically don't ever use Navigation, but maybe with the new update I'll use it more since its a less jarring experience going from Maps to it.

  • Jaime

    too bad I'm still waiting for Android 4.3, but I hope Android 7.0 comes soon for my mobile.

    • nxtiak

      There is no Android 7.0. The Google Maps app is Version 7.0.1, is what this article is talking about. Android 4.3 us real but not released yet.

  • Cory_S

    I didn't realize how negative of a person i was until I checked out the reviews I've left in the profile page...

  • TylerChappell

    I installed this on my Nexus 7. Felt like I was using Apple's maps, with all the missing features and whatnot. Not impressed so far.

  • fredphoesh

    Whaaaaat, and STILL no IOS style mini compass so you know which way street view is pointing??? Why!?!?

    • DavidHuggs

      I can't understand, my friend. At least on my device there is a small compass on the upper right corner of the screen, right below the search bar. The red arrow indicates the north. And now the app UI is just like the one on my iPhone. =/

      • fredphoesh

        Hi David, I mean in street view. If you go to street view you get arrows "on the road" but they don't show anything useful, I mean some indication where NSEW are while in street view... sadly it's not there!

  • James_C_L

    I can't stand the new maps. My least favorite is the lack of alternate routes while navigating. Just terrible. Thank god I backed up the previous version. Probably gonna stick with it until the necessary features are implemented back in.
    Also.. Why is no traffic route color blue now? Ummm.. Green for clear road, green for Go.. Yellow for mild traffic and red for serious traffic. I can't stand the blue. It's hard to read the map with the traffic filter turned on

    • DavidHuggs

      I suggest you to report every feature you might be missing from the previous version to Google, as well as anything you didn't like, you did like or you would like to be implemented. Just tap "Send Feedback" on the swipe menu and then tap "Send App Feedback".

      • James_C_L

        Did that exact thing. Hope my opinions and suggestions are heard

    • Chris

      Google has foriegners working on the maps team. They don't know anything smart...

  • FrillArtist

    Hmmmm....I don't know how I feel about this update. I like the visual look but a lot of good functionality was thrown out. The biggest one for me was alternative routes in navigation.

    • z0phi3l

      You can't pick it, BUT it did route me correctly once I stopped following it and took a known alternate route instead of insisting on going the original route

  • petman

    Absolutely horrible. I primarily use android phone because of Google navigation. Today new 7.0 wouldn't let me see alternate routes when I encountered major issues around camden and Philadelphia. It crashed and wouldn't relaunch. So I had to use waze. Which Google will ruin next. Started doing side by side comparisons with my wife's lumia 925. It is faster and just as accurate. Looks like Google gave me a reason to switch to windows phone.

    • DavidHuggs

      I suggest you to report every feature you might be missing from the previous version to Google, as well as anything you didn't like, you did like or you would like to be implemented. Just tap "Send Feedback" on the swipe menu and then tap "Send App Feedback"

      • z0phi3l

        It's better to complain about a free service on a random web site and be lazy than it is to go and try to make it better

  • Spirit

    Absolutely SUCKS! Google has just removed itself from my phone. Latitude was family friendly and allowed us to track members traveling in Spain in real time. Google+ is a complete mess - information overkill. Who has time for so much mindless noise? Google needs to learn "If it ain't broken, DON'T FIX IT!!!"

    • Chris

      You don't want to throw a Liam Neeson while in spain?

  • andrew__des_moines

    What a cluster f... I followed the directions for switching from Latitude to Google Plus BUT THERE IS NO DAMN LOCATION TAB!!!! Google has taken sacrificed its best qualities for the worst of Apple (forcing users into specific ways of doing things) and the worst of Microsoft (horrible UI).

  • Samsung Fanboy

    Google really pissed me the FK off with this one. maps has always been my favorite and most used app, even when I was on an iPhone. now it seems like Im right back on an iPhone with this new app which is exactly like the iOS version with all its limitations.

    anyway, here's a feature you missed and one that I really enjoyed. when you search for a zip code or neighborhood, it would be highlighted and have a border around it. I live in NYC and for me this is very very useful. attached is a screen shot.

    PS. thank the lord I can uninstall updates and go back to the old version--something which would never be possible on iOS.

    • Samsung Fanboy

      what's with the down vote you dumb ass.

      • The BiG phat BiG Mac

        You probably got phakeman following you around.

  • andrew__des_moines

    I just opened up Google+ on my phone to turn on location sharing (couldn't do this from the PC). I saw a post from my cousin at the top of the stream -- it was from 2011. This is the kind of thing MS does to force people to use their failed products.

    • Chris

      so google forced you to turn on location sharing?

      • andrew__des_moines

        When the elusive location tab failed to appear, I checked my phone to make sure location sharing was on. And yes, it was on previously, but Google turned it off and forced me to re-enable it.

  • Jarvis

    Alternate routes missing is enough for me to stay away...I will not be upgrading till everything is added back in....

  • jazzruby

    Just rebooted my devices and they all came back online with a new Google Play services
    v3.1.59

  • abhisahara

    Nicely written David. Since waiting for the update (don't wanna sideload lol) i went through the whole article. You might want to fix the widget spelling in the third line of the paragraph headlining - "The traffic widget is gone, the old directions widget sort of replaces it"
    ;)

  • Barend Stapelberg

    The Maps app is pretty much useless if I cannot plot a route via my own waypoints/roads and then navigate MY route. Going from A to C and stopping at B first is virtually impossible if i have never driven the road...

  • AlexZ

    Wow! So many features are gone. I hope it doesn't backfire like the Apple update of maps.

    • Chris

      Apples maps were made by them with the help of Tom Tom. The old maps were from Google, but the app was all apple.

  • why google? why?

    Double tap to zoom, but on the second tap, hold and move your finger up or down to zoom in/out.

  • sam

    Search result sorting and filters are gone. :(

    I hope they bring back (open now) or at least show it next to open places in green font for example.

    I also hope they add speed limits.

  • moneypenny

    f! WouWould they remove (100% not even an option toturn on) the zoom in out buttonkbutton?abutton?! If iI cantcan't 100% use my phone (HTC one) in one hand than that app is dead to me.

    • Colin Kealty

      double tap and slide your finger up or down on the second tap. so like, tap release tap hold slide, that'll zoom in and out

  • godisafairytale

    They also got rid of all NFC functionality. Tried to send a location by tapping another Samsung Galaxy phone, no longer does anything. Boo! :-(

  • BigVDawgy

    They also removed being able to click on your own position to see My Location and the options it offered like sharing with others.

  • itsgonnalast

    Great article. Not sure if you mentioned this, but during navigation clicking the footer toggles between time remaining, time of arrival and distance.

  • lamenting

    Maybe have been mentioned (haven't read all comments), but while navigating, tapping the bottom bar that has the estimated number of minutes until your destination will toggle between miles to go and estimated time of arrival.

  • Cody Curry

    More stuff removed than stuff that's truly new.

    This is the problem with building an app around design. Look at all the lost functionality.

  • TechKDB

    "Add as Contact" ------- I haven't read all the comments yet but one thing that I can't find right away so I assume it is MISSING and I really used allot was the "Add as Contact" in the old menu. Does anyone know of any quick ways of doing this going forward with this or any other Google offerings?

  • peter

    Am i the only one missing most of the starred places in this new version ?
    if I go back to the old version I see them all !!

    • Gandalf_Teh_Gray

      Just posted the same thing, I lost a few of mine and haven't found out how to do it since.

    • Paul Taylor

      It seems to be the places where Google has no name, like a cove on a beach etc. which its not showing any more.

      You can open http://www.google.com/maps in your (phones) web browser and login to at least still be able to see all of your saved places!

      With the new maps used to navigate 30 mins this morning, my phone used 2.5 MB of data, which seems ok? (I've occasionally exceeded my 2g/2.5g PAYG data allowance recently).

  • Gandalf_Teh_Gray

    I want to be able to "star" locations again. The update wiped some of mine off the map and the only other way I was able to make the coordinates saved was to place a pin and then share it to myself for later use.

  • Marc

    I miss the "app" that went directly to navigation (the blue arrow). Unless I'm missing something, you have to trudge through Maps to get to that now. It was so much easier, and it makes a difference when you're driving, to just hit the blue arrow, then voice search, and then if your address comes up correct, just go.

    • z0phi3l

      I still have it, don't need it anymore, I just set my home and work locations as shortcuts instead, and it's faster

  • nagi

    "map preloading is not available in this area"... so it's the same damn story again...

  • A

    There's no longer a way to view just a list of your starred locations, they're (randomly?) interspersed with all the other recent locations.

  • Dan Garcia

    I love the update, but I'm my phone and my wife's phone seem to have an issue where the little blue dots arrow isn't pointed in the actual direction we're facing and it causes the map to spin around while driving. It's perfectly fine while actually in navigation mode. It's a bit annoying. Before the update this worked fine. Anyone else having this issue?

  • Bob

    It seems that Google has taken away much more functionality than they've added or improved. Not a step in the right direction. If we wanted our phones to be simple and dumb, we'd be using iPhones. Get back on track, Google. We chose Android because it's more functional, and you're moving in the wrong direction.

  • Tamadrummer94

    Why in god's name is Navigation still a separate app? On iOS their Maps experience is more encompassing and works better.

    • Primalxconvoy

      I always thought that Google maps was better on ios than Android. Anyone else?

  • RA

    I can't believe I can't use my saved maps (multiple locations) for navigation.

  • DJ SPY

    Too many USEFUL things gone. Street view preview on navigation is very useful to me. I would know beforehand what I was looking for when I arrived at a place I hasn't been before. No way to sugar coat things but they're downright stupid decisions by Google.

  • Mobile Phones Fan

    For those of you who can't wait for the return of My Maps, please note that it's still available in the Web app.

    At far right of the search box is a menu icon ('down' arrow in circle); you'll find your maps under the 'My Places' sub-menu.
    .

  • GiantJay

    Still haven't received the update.

    • Sporttster

      Don't....save yourself a ton of hassles and lost functionality....

  • FooBar

    No pegman in street view, are they nuts? Have they been secretly ilfiltrated by Apple to ruin their maps app? Now there's simply no way yo jump large distances when in street view, you have to keep on pressing Forward, which doesn't take you very far. Absolutely ridiculous, I downloaded the old version which is much easier to use.

    • FooBar

      Infiltrated*

  • Primalxconvoy

    I'm so glad that I rarely, if ever, update my apps, especially Google's ones. I'm quite happy with the version that came with my phone, thanks very much.

  • P.

    There needs to be a QUICK "Routes & Alternatives" Button.. When you are in traffic its impossible to fiddle with the way this new app is.. Google I'm sorely Disappointed with you!

  • Tony

    Does anyone know if you can view the navigation map without actually getting directions? I liked having the nav map up while driving. I could take a quick look at traffic and street names at a light. It doesn't seem to be possible to view the navigation map without getting directions any more. Now it switches to the google maps version of the map which doesn't seem to track the location of the car as well.

  • kworm

    In short pretty much everything is gone! Stripped down to what? A goodlooking UI and some traffic notifications. Seriously google, this is a huge step backwards. Not happy!

  • fredric

    I liked the Wikipedia feature {:'(

  • DrLeadBasedPaint

    This navigation crashes on my Galaxy S3 every time I try to use it. At first, all seems well. If I change to a different app and then return, however, I get a "sorry" message and I can no longer see the map. The voice continues, but I cannot see or restart the app without resetting my phone. This is very frustrating.

  • Zach Mauch

    still waiting on speed limits and lane assist :(

  • Lauren

    I got so angry with this the other day that I started shaking my phone....and the report a bug option popped up, which blew my mind a little bit. They clearly knew what my reaction would be to the dysfunctional traffic view.

  • Edward Williams

    Step backwards.

    I am the biggest Google fanboy ever, but this update, though beautiful, is a mess. Visited Philly this weekend. Long story short, Siri/ iMaps were more reliable. We missed streets, it could not figure out where we were and by the time it did we had already passed exits, it hiccuped quite often, it shut down and took 15-20 minutes to work properly and I had no idea where the 'Avoid Toll Roads' and 'Alternate Route' options were.

    Ain't too happy over here. Hopefully they fix it up good and fast.

  • jurrabi

    I only will say that the latest changes in all Google Android apps are dumbing down the experience. They are iphoning android. And I don't like it...

  • Jeew

    I liked the new interface but most of my major usage methods are not there anymore :(
    1. Most of the starred places with the previous version is gone
    2. My maps cannot be seen
    Can someone help me?

  • Rohan Bathla

    still no news about maps v7.0 for ics based devices?

  • Nick

    The new Google Maps SUCKS. If they dont fix it, I will have to switch to Yahoo Maps.

  • Junius Hunter

    I uninstalled their BS upgrade and went back to the original factory install on my Razr Max HD. Now it's usable again.

  • Johnyy

    how can we stared a place in new Maps?

  • Phil

    The new explore has two big downsides. In Local, you could see at a glance, for example, all the restaurants within a few blocks of where you are. The more you zoomed in, the more detail you could see. Now they are just dots. You have to click on each one to see what it is.

    Flicking between the results on the bottom is no help, as they are not sorted geographically. (no idea how they are sorted -- it seems random.)

    Also, a huge number of restaurants in my hood are just not there any more. This really sucks.

  • Simon Watts

    Disappointed to lose Location History on my phone as use this keep track of where I ahve been for business purposes

  • FatherD

    'upset some of you' what an understatement! Maps 7.x is an absolute shambles, just check out the meteoric rise of 1star rating in the play store, it's like watching a pinball score :-)

  • Gilbert Spindel

    There are pre-imbedded businesses on the maps and no way to delete them,

  • schorschipoo

    lattitude and longitude are now completely missing. It seems this is part of the cull of anything not used by the least common denominator user.

  • Pete

    The new maps is the ABSOLUTE WORST UPDATE EVERY IN THE HISTORY OF ANDROID APPS.
    Google deserves to be shut down for doing something so stupid. And fire every damn person on the Maps "team" and get people who need and use it like normal human beings.

    • Sporttster

      Tellin' it like it is.....clown circus posse

  • David Levy

    Read the blogs, esp. the Android and google forum - anyone who really understood and used maps hates the update and has rolled back to earlier version: key issue is loss of core functionality, esp. My Maps (much better to organize waypoints than starred places), easy download of offline maps/delete cache, scale bar, simple zoom buttons, etc. etc. Already testing out OsmAnd, the new maps is simply not usable. What were they thinking?

  • Allison Fournier

    This update crashes at random times and if i get a text or missed call notification it crashes. Disappointed with the "update" because it hasnt been reliable. Hopefully issues will be fixed soon. Until then ill have to use a different app..one that works.

  • shur

    what's amazing is this article liked the update. Everyone else that actually uses navigation on an android hates this updated beta version. Take a look at googles forums. Everyone is uninstalling the new maps.
    The worst update ever.

  • Lauren

    I hate it. And everyone I know hates it. I was doing just fine with navigator.

  • Sporttster

    I updated to this POS and was like hey, where the hell is my Nav icon??? I could not figure out how the heck to get into Navigation! That was frustrating enough but to do it on a actual trip where I needed it? GTFO!!! I messed around with this POS and decided quite quickly to hunt for a old version of Maps and found 6.14.2 and am sticking with it! I am rooted and backed that sucker up with TB and I ain't budging! Google can suck it! This new update SUCKS!!!!

  • nkomp18

    Firstly, very good and detailed article regarding the new update. As for the app itself, I have to say I'm very disappointed how much functionality has been removed. There were a lot of features I used on a daily basis that are no longer available, such as the distance ruler. I also enjoyed the freedom of choosing exactly which part of the map to cache offline and knowing what size it would be.

    An update that just removes features is not an update at all. This app has been DOWNGRADED and that's just unacceptable.

  • M.V.

    Really? They took out the ability to review alternate routes on the fly? That was one of the most useful features. The other bells and whistles don't help me when I'm in a car and don't want to have to do a bunch of damn research on my own to find out if another parallel route is similar or better...sigh.

  • Johnny Chen

    I actually really found the zoom buttons to be helpful, especially if youre were using the map with one hand. Also miss the scale immensely especailly when you're in an unfamiliar place. The distance measurer between two points was helpful but not vital. Think it was more of a novelty item but I'd like it back. Why did google get rid of these things?? So useful and easy to just keep as optional settings!

  • jay

    How do I get the distance bar back?

  • Eman

    I have a phone with no compass, but that's never been a problem for navigation since once it locks with GPS it follows the road and GPS direction to rotate the view. Every nav HAS to rotate the view according to road and GPS movement when in motion and override the compass - imagine the phone slightly moving or rotating in the vehicle whilst driving.

    I tried a walking navigation session this morning, Maps 7 kept on pointing northbound map-wise, didn't rotate at all following my movements and direction. I had to revert to the previous version to make it work fine. Tried to clear data and hard-reset, unsuccessfully.

    It seems I'm not the only one experiencing this:

    http://productforums.google.com/d/msg/maps/kRm9Tfvmp2k/tB9MBrObV3cJ

    (the whole thread is quite interesting)

    Plus, Latitude apart, where are the "scale" (in km/miles), the measure tool (I know it was a "lab, still...) and the zoom buttons option when you can only use one hand?

    TBH, all this and the average users' feedback so far reminds me a bit of "another" Maps release which happened last Autumn... even if take a look at the new maps redesign and fonts: doesn't it look "quite similar"?

  • El_Marko

    Ugh. I can no longer tap an address, within my contacts list, and get a map to that address. Worse, I cannot enter a contact's name, in Google Maps, and have Maps find the name in the contacts list. Big step backwards. My new HTC One, using stock software, handles this worse than my 4-year old Nokia.

  • Rebecca Jarvis

    It's cack. For the love of God bring the old one back - it was the most useful navigation guide I've ever used. Not happy.

  • leo

    What happened to the "add as a contact feature"? This was the most useful of the maps' functionalities. I would search for a restaurant in Google, click on the map, then click my phone's menu button and choose add as a contact and - voila - all of the restaurant info was saved onto my phone. Is this still available on the new maps app?

  • Michael Romano

    I'd like to see some of the functionality for Public Transport come back. Was a rather rude awakening when I couldn't see at what point of the trip I was on. Unlike the previous version where you'd know at exactly what station you were near to because of the glowing blue dot next to the station names in the step-by-step directions.

  • Jesse

    I had many locations "starred" in the previous version of maps, a lot of which weren't connected to a physical street address. They we're just simply latitude/longitude coordinates.

    In this new version of maps it does not show any of them on the map, and presumably they are not accessible through the app at all. Even when long pressing on a location outside of the city limits, it doesn't allow you the option to "star" it anymore.

    I am very dissatisfied with the new update Google.

  • marc krigel

    Before redesigning Maps Google should have consulted the military experience with gestures. Gestures work wonderfully on a quiet desk, but not so in a moving vehicle.

    Single button push grow/shrink is far superior to pinch/grow gestures in a moving vehicle.

    Google Maps DOES NOT search the android contact list first. This makes no sense. If I type in "Alice", I don't want directions to Alice's restaurant in New Brunswick, but rather how to get to her house from my current position.

    And getting rid of "measure" what where they thinking?

    Shortcuts use to provide the best of breed map functionality. Removing them provides an opportunity for some enterprising young coder to make a mint by coming up with a substitute app.

  • Andrew Parker

    Any one know how to set local language now that the labs feature has gone?

  • yachaa

    What about the push and hold feature feature on the old where you could see what's near by a point on the map

  • rudichsradiatedballs@myway.com

    So far this update SUCKS!!!!
    It doesn't even know where the fast food place down the street is! Can't find my brothers house in another city WTF?!?!
    Galaxay S3

  • Nataline Delisle-vanderburg

    WHERE is exit navigation. I used maps today and had to turn off my phone, take out the battery to stop the navigator. I was sooo annoyed

  • Ryan

    I care that they took away the wikipedia option... what I don't get is while the new google maps 7 is more mobile friendly, why force desktop users to suffer from a reduced complexity... I use google maps all the time, for work, for day to day tasks, etc... layers in software exist for a reason, to add the user to modify the amount of information they need, if you don't use wikipedia, it is by default off, if you don't care about transit, it turns off.... but why get rid of information that people might potentially use when you can just turn it on/off... anyway, that's my 2 cents.... thumbs down for 7 so far... some of it is better, but they took out a lot of information and functionality that made them top of the pile.... Apple Maps was not a hit out of the box, so why redesign Google Maps to look just like Apple...

  • Helen

    Your camera truck missed the 10th Line of Essa Township, RR2 Barrie, Ontario, Canada from the 20th Sideroad of Essa Township to County Road 90. Any chance it will be done?

  • Bob

    I don't care about missing map views or cool new features. I use the app to search and navigate.

    I am upset at two of the missing filters. Distance and rating (I never used the others). Given the results sort neither by distance, nor rating, it is annoying to sift through long results lists of restaurants that are not really options. I spend a lot of time on the road in unfamiliar places. Time constraints often mean I am limited to a short distance.

    The other problem I have is the return of the "waiting for location" message, even when the phone has a GPS lock. I see no legitimate need for location services if a GPS lock is present.

  • Dan

    I'm on a Google Nexus 7 and am having trouble finding a way to check distances/travel time from one location to another, that is not either "my location" or a saved point on the map - before I could just mark a point on the map, by placing a (unsaved) pin there, then mark another point on the map by just selecting "mark a point on the map" in the directions menu.... Got any suggestions?

  • Hasnain Tapal

    where are my offline saved maps and how do I access it

  • sok1109

    Is there a way to measure a distance on the map that is not an actual road? Lets say a small trail in a neighborhood?

  • mike

    I used to be able to "save as a contact" how do i do this now?

  • emi moraes

    PLEASE, WHEN I CAME TO THE ADDRESS I NEED TO EXIT FROM THE APPLICATION. GOOGLE FORGOT TO ADD A BUTTON OR SOMETHING TO EXIT THIS APPLICATION. SPENT A LOT OF BATTERY TO STAY IN

  • jwillis84

    New Android Maps app made me so frustrated I wanted to hurl it out the Window.. I am so sick and tired of Windows 8 on Android everywhere.

  • Shawn

    Has anyone else experienced large data use on the new maps? I just got a new handset (HTC one) and in only 2 days of using the maps on this handset my phone shows maps at 350MB....I have a 2GB data plan and on my old handset I never used 1GB of data for the whole month. Nothing has changed in the way I use maps only the Version of maps and the handset! Can anyone help?

  • Richard

    It was so easy before ! Tap the blue arrow tap the microphone ,speak the address, and listen to the turn by turn directions.

  • Red

    I just did the HTC system update on my phone. I HATE IT. If Google wants to loose its customer base then forcing changes is NOT the wat to do so.

  • Stathi

    since not having my maps renders Google Maps completely useless now, does anyone have another application they would recommend with a similar functionality?

  • Karen

    I hate that they removed restaurants from the Layer. I'd like to know what restaurants are around the hotel i'm staying at when planning a trip to a place i've never been before. it was so much easier to google the hotel and click the restaurant layer to see everything within walking distance.

  • 555 520

    I can't find Ruler in Google Maps.
    That really Sacks!