Google is bumping Maps up to v8.0 today, and as would befit such a big jump in version numbers, there's a lot going on. In positively un-Googley fashion, the app already has a changelog on the Play Store. So, we've got a pretty good idea what's new this time.
Before we dig in, here's what's new in v8.0. Items in italics are not on Play Store list.
- Turn-by-turn navigation now displays distance, arrival time, and quick access to alternate routes
- Save and manage offline maps in a custom list for when you're traveling or have a slow connection
- Transit results now display total walking time of your trip and the next scheduled bus or train
- Sign in to see your “Places to review” list from recently saved or searched-for places
- If you have the Uber app installed, open it right from Google Maps when comparing route options
- Bug fixes
- Lane guidance in navigation mode (US and parts of Canada/Japan)
- Adjust and name offline maps before saving
- Search filters (price rating, open, from circles)
The Navigation app gets a slight UI tweak this time that brings it more in line with Google's new aesthetic. Navigation also includes easier access to alternative routes and other relevant data about your trip. For some reason, Google didn't include lane assistance in the changelog, but it's right there in the screenshots. We spotted the seeds of this feature in a teardown of v6.14.3.
Google made offline maps a little harder to manage in the big UI shift a while back, but this update returns that control. When you do have a connection, the Uber app (if you have it installed) will be an option in route comparisons, which is neat. We're still poking around with the new version, and will update if we find anything else.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.
File name: com.google.android.apps.maps-8.0.0-800001324_API18.apk.
Version: 8.0.0-800001324 (Android 4.3+). We're looking for builds for older API versions.
[Maps Blog – Thanks, Derek Traini]