Earlier today, Google started slowly rolling out an update to Maps with version 7.2. This is a point release, up from 7.1, so I expected more than just minor changes. While not as big as the quiet Drive update yesterday, Maps 7.2 brings a few notable changes to the table that Google has not yet (or won't ever) itemized in the changelog. Upon getting my hands on the APK, which you can find at the bottom of this post, I hopped onto the teardown couch and dug in.
If your device hasn't gotten the YouTube v5 update today yet, and you're just itching to see the new navigation and UI, and experience the in-app multitasking first hand, we have your fix down below. Simply flash this verified APK to your phone or tablet, and your YouTube app will suddenly look better than ever before.
Note: If you're looking for a more detailed changelog, read the original announcement post.
Google has started rolling out a staged YouTube for Android update, and it's probably the biggest redesign the app has seen yet. We've gotten a hold of the APK with exact version 5.0.21 (the previous version is 4.5.17), and after playing with it for about 30 minutes so far, I can definitively say that it's hugely improved.
The biggest new features I've spotted so far are:
One of Android's strengths is that its built-in navigation software is top notch, but that doesn't mean we have to use it. There are alternatives that make it easier to discover new places and come up with ways to get between them more quickly. Transit isn't a replacement for Google Maps, but it's a nice tool to have in your belt when trying to get from point A to point B.
Love it or hate it, version 7 of Google Maps is now apparently rolling out to everyone. The latest release is entirely different from prior versions and gives the mobile app a look that matches that of the new Google Maps soon to hit the web. Upon opening the app for the first time, a solitary search bar hovers at the top of the screen while all other options are tucked away.
The new Google Maps app seems to be positive on balance, but there are always some features that get left behind in big updates. There's the odd caching functionality and the complete lack of My Maps, for example. While it may look at first like the missing traffic widget has taken some functionality with it, that's not quite the case. Google Maps v7 contains a
new one-tap directions widget that does much more than the Traffic one did.
To go along with the release of the long-awaited Google Maps update yesterday, Mountain View has just updated the list of countries with full Google Navigation support. There are 18 confirmed new countries, and two that went from limited to full coverage.
Update #6 by Artem: Official Google blog post.
Update #5 by Artem: Google uploaded several official video promos for the new v7.0.0 update:
I'm not going to embed the rest, but you can find them here: The new Google Maps app for tablets, Directions and navigation with the new Google Maps app, Explore with the new Google Maps app, Shake to send feedback with the new Google Maps app.
This weekend the tech world was abuzz with rumors that Google had purchased Israeli mapping and navigation software maker Waze for a sum of over a billion dollars. Today Google has made it official, thanks to a post on the company blog from the VP of Geo, Brian McClendon. While Google declined to mention exactly how much it spent on Waze, it's a safe bet that it was a lot, since both Apple and Facebook had previously expressed interest.
If you haven't been following the broader tech news lately, GPS navigation provider Waze has been the corporate equivalent of a desperate college freshman, trying to find a match before the end of the first semester. The scuttlebutt is that both Apple and Facebook have shown interest in acquiring the Israel-based company within the last year. Now two credible sources, Israeli business websites Globes and Calcalist, report that Google has swooped in and agreed to purchase the company for a cool $1.3 billion.