05
Feb
unnamed (7)

Google's begun rolling out an update to Maps, bumping it from version 7.5 to version 7.6 just after flipping the switch on dynamic rerouting. Officially, what's new in the update hasn't been laid out, but as usual we've managed to get the APK and take a quick peek inside. In this post, we'll outline some of the new, interesting bits we've found in the new app, and those who don't want to wait for the update can grab the APK themselves at the bottom of the post.

What's New

Offers

One area that's gotten some significant attention in the 7.6 update is Offers. Besides some tweaks to iconography, users will notice an enhanced "Your Offers" interface, which now separates out offer history from active offers, with the former storing used or expired offers. Users can also sort offers by location, business name, or start/expiration dates.

Screenshot_2014-02-05-00-58-06 Screenshot_2014-02-05-01-00-24 Screenshot_2014-02-05-01-01-19 Screenshot_2014-02-05-01-46-59

There are more strings related to offers that are presumably seen when a nearby business with a loyalty program has an active offer. To see these strings in action, one would presumably need to encounter an offer in their area from a business that requires a loyalty program the user is a part of. I couldn't find any instances of that while trying out the new maps, but here are the strings anyway. Let us know if you've seen them in action.

<string name="error_retry_text">Tap to refresh</string>
   <string name="offers_core_cpg_loyalty_program_link_instructions">Add your %s loyalty program to redeem these offers.</string>
   <string name="offers_core_cpg_loyalty_link_text">Add loyalty program</string>
   <string name="offers_core_menu_cpg_link">Add or update your loyalty program</string>
...
   <string name="offers_core_unknown_loyalty_program_status">"Your connection was lost. To redeem these offers, make sure you've added your %s loyalty program to your Google account."</string>

New Domains

One behind-the-scenes tweak in the new version of Maps is the expansion of the manifest file to include tons more Google domains, allowing Maps links associated with those domains to open the Maps app, rather than simply leading to Maps on the web.

<data android:host="ditu.google.cn" android:pathPrefix="/maps"/>

...

<data android:host="maps.google.ru" android:pathPrefix="/maps"/>

...

<data android:host="maps.google.jo" android:path="/"/>

etc.

All told, the manifest file has ballooned from 235KB to 1MB with the inclusion of the new domains, among other bits and pieces.

Preferred Transit Modes

A subtle yet useful tweak to transit navigation is the switch from radio buttons to check boxes for preferred modes. Instead of choosing just one method (Bus, Subway, Train, or Tram) as the preferred mode, users can select any, all, or none of the options.

Screenshot_2014-02-05-01-35-27 Screenshot_2014-02-05-01-26-45

"Avoid Ferries"

This is a feature that's been available on the web for a while now, but which has just made its way over to Android - users can now choose to avoid ferries while setting up a route. This appears to only apply to driving directions, meaning this will only cover the kinds of ferries that take your car, in instances where the ferry can be avoided. Update: It appears that the "Avoid ferries" option actually appears for driving, walking, and cycling directions, as pointed out by a commenter below.

Screenshot_2014-02-05-01-26-23

Bits and Pieces

Another tidbit of note is that Maps has switched over to the rounded vertical ellipsis icon used in overflow menus across some of Google's other apps. The switch to rounded overflow menus more or less officially began with KitKat, but recent updates have seen the overflows of the Play Store, Google Play Newsstand, Google Search, and others rounded off.

image

Much of the iconography in Maps has also switched to a style more closely aligned with KitKat, adopting #4285f4 to replace what was once #33b5e5.

image

Wrap-Up

That's all we've found for now. Did we miss anything? If you've caught any new features or changes we missed, let us know in the comments. Otherwise, let's get to what you really want - the download.

Download

Don't want to wait for the update to hit your device? The APK below is signed by Google and will upgrade your existing app. Its cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and wasn't tampered with in any way.

One thing to note with this update (as with apps like Play Services) is that there are a few different versions of the APK file intended for different devices. On the Nexus 5 for example, our particular APK will leave some of the visual assets looking a bit wonky (see screenshots above), so folks may want to wait for the update to roll out, or wait and see if another APK pops up that will suit their needs.

Update: Thanks to usaff22 below, we've got an APK appropriate for the Nexus 5 and other XXHDPI devices. We've added the appropriate mirrors below. Note that the second set of downloads will only support devices on API level 17 and above.

File Name: com.google.android.apps.maps-706000601-v7.6.0_API15.apk

File Size: 8.3MB

Version: 7.6.0

MD5: 9136ce31510edc38a8582f46c333e907

File Name: com.google.android.apps.maps-706000624-v7.6.0_API18.apk

File Size: 9.6MB

Version: 7.6.0

MD5: 5873B2DB1960213E22FCC99765DE130A

Thanks, Joseph!

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Frank Barten

    The new 'Avoid Ferries'-thing is also showing up when getting directions for walking or cycling.
    Nice update!

    • http://nicholsonrecords.com/paul Paul Nicholson

      ditto

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Really? I didn't see that at all. I don't see any transit options at all for walking or cycling.

      • Frank Barten

        Yes. Maybe it's related to which route you choose? The Ferry option is the only transit option showing up for walking and cycling, for me.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Doh, I think I may have glanced at the old app when looking at these last night. You're right - and they show up not only if you have ferries on your route.

  • Matt

    Yup, icons definitely look low res even on my Nexus 4. Last time, once the actual rollout happened, it updated over my lower resolution version so hopefully the same will happen again.

  • ArrTooDeeToo

    I'll be glad when they bring back the map view of places like restaurants and such. I hate that they just show a list. I want to see what's NEAR me in a way that I can decide where to go, especially if we're rolling down the interstate and want to find something at the next exit. The list view always ends up showing things I've already passed. Not ideal in that situation.

    • akshay7394

      Slide the list view down to see the map with red targets everywhere

      works fine for me

      Edit: Unless you mean while using the Explore tab, that i haven't tried. But if I just search for 'restaurants' and do what i said above, it works as you seem to want.

      • miri

        It works the same with Explore. Tap on an item and it takes you to the map with all results.

  • Ang

    When is the Share route option going to be available like on the website? :(

  • usaff22

    The buttons are now dark blue (like in Google Now 3.1) compared to the previous version, which I'm pretty sure were the old light blue. I can't seem to see the new rounded overflow button anywhere though (and pretty sure Play Music doesn't have it either)

    Here is the XXHDPI APK from my Nexus 5, which received the update almost immediately yesterday:

    http://www.androidfilehost.com/?fid=23329332407569209

    Pretty good update though.

    • http://4cm4k1.com/ Anthony C. Maki

      Thanks for the XXHDPI APK! Much better than this one. The rounded overflow can be found when you're in navigation mode.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Thanks for the APK, and good catch on the new blue!

    • Denis

      the file appears to be broken for me from all mirriors.

      • usaff22

        Seems to be working for me, when not signed on.

        • Denis

          can't parse the package (no problem with the 1st version posted)

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            API18 is 4.3+. Are you using 4.3 or 4.4?

          • Denis

            ah, 4.2 here so, figures.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            Use the API15 apk instead or wait for the update.

  • GreatNews

    Where could I find the Offer section? And the preferred route option?

    • miri

      Offers are Explore and route options are available when choosing your route after selecting the destination/transportation.

    • BiggiePhat

      I cant find it either. I click the "Explore nearby" and i see no offers section like shown above.

      • http://reduxdeluxe.zxq.net/ Charles

        You have to click the person looking icon in the search bar which will take you to your profile where offers is located.

  • Jekabpils

    Still no multiple destinations or via points

    • joser116

      Or filters like nearest or highest rated when viewing search listings.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Correct, not yet.

      • Cerberus_tm

        "Not yet": do you expect them to come in the (near) future?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I have no information about it, though I'm hoping it'll happen at some point.

          • Cerberus_tm

            Ah OK, thanks, then we are in the same boat. I'm still on 6.14.4, though.

    • Stephanie William

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      ◈◈◈ ◈◈◈ ၥ◈◈◈ ◈ၩ◈◈◈◈ ◈◈◈The list view always ends up showing things I've already passed. Not ideal in that situation.

    • Paul_Werner

      Or turn-by-turn nav for Public Transit like it used to have

  • miri

    "The switch to rounded overflow menus more or less officially began with KitKat, but recent updates have seen the overflows of the Play Store, Play Music, Google Search, and others rounded off."

    Play Music actually still has square overflow menu buttons. It's Newsstand and Books that are round.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Yep, you're right! I've edited the post.

  • Jake

    This morning navigation audio sounded louder as well.

  • TheLastAngel

    Thank God, I was worried they would make the actual MAPPING features as good as they were in version 6.

  • Christofftofferson

    No immersive mode?

    • miri

      Map padding would be the feature used in this case, and no.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Not at this time.

  • Beverly

    Thanks to this site and everyone's comments this helps me to learn what I don't understand because I'm still learning how to set up my phone. Lol I've had galaxy 2,3that my husband has now and I I've have the 4 since Oct. And haven't figured and finished.

  • Patruns

    Can you view offline maps again?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Nope.

  • Abhilash Bingi

    I can understand not doing it over all the apps at at once. But with in a single app? Why Google? Why?!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Twitch.

    • http://symbii.com op12

      Really makes that "WTF" in the top row pretty appropriate :)

  • Zaatour36

    I hope I can share the full address as it used to, instead a link :(

  • Ali Said Jamaleddine

    I have a Nexus 7 2013 running 4.4.2. Which file should I download?

  • archercc

    The navigation voice is considerably louder on my phone now. Especially over Bluetooth.

    This is quite welcome because often the car volume had to be high to hear it, making the music too loud.

  • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

    Remember when Maps panning / zooming interface was smooth as silk?

    The current pan/zoom framework / interface puts the quad-cores and 2 or 3 GB RAMs to shame. Barely 30 fps on a 60 Hz refresh.
    *Twitch*

    Such a shame, Google.

    • Magneira

      Yet if you use any app that uses google maps api the zooming and scroling is buttery smooth, so there is something wrong with google maps for sure.

      • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

        This is my guess-

        The engine used to be common.
        Now Google uses its own engine for its Maps, and the other websites/apps still use the old buttery-smooth engine. So the difference.
        God knows why it is the way it is. Whoever needed the NEW ENGINE. :/

        EDIT: Have you noticed the web Maps? Without a sign-in, it shows the old interface. When you sign in, you get the "new" Maps (which uses much more memory and processor for rendering).

  • jss

    Can no longer view "my places". Search results no longer listed in order of distance. When I searched for "hospital" the actual closest hospital was listed 6th! No longer able to filter by distance, price, or rating of restaurants. Results list no longer shows address.

  • vip-nord

    no immersive, no multiple destination, no lane guidance ... too bad. Any one knows good android gps with good lane guidance ? thanks

  • FDisk

    There is also step by step navigation for public transit now, appears when you click on my location or the bus station for example.
    Not sure why it's hidden like this.

  • byung

    When are they bringing back my places?!?

  • Your Mother

    no impressed. still want my

    - peg man because current street view is garbage
    - ability to search neighborhood, zip code and city and have it highlighted on the map--priceless !!
    - terrain layer
    - and location sharing !! not from Google+

  • jss

    Can no longer use "my places" in start or end point. Search results no longer listed in order of distance. When I searched for "hospital" the actual closest hospital was listed 6th! No longer able to filter by distance, price, or rating of restaurants. Results list no longer shows address.

  • egendomligt

    Still missing My Maps, which was available in maps 6.14.4.. Is it too much to ask to be able to view my own maps..??

  • Dan Zunko

    How do I get Maps to stay in DAY mode? I don't want it to ever go to NIGHT mode.