Google Maps, for its part this Update Wednesday, has received a bump to version 9.3. The changes aren't immediately apparent to users just opening the app, but there are at least a couple of things worth mentioning in the new update.

First, shareable directions. Once a user looks up directions or navigation to a destination, they can share the directions with any app in the normal share menu or - if Google Glass is connected - to Glass.

Screenshot_2015-01-14-15-31-28 Screenshot_2015-01-14-15-31-44

Users can also permanently dismiss the GPS nag dialog that pops up if a user's location settings aren't ideal for Maps. (Thanks Allen!)


The app also comes with new permissions, including access to Bluetooth settings and devices, and the ability to run at startup. We can't pinpoint exactly what the permissions are used for yet, but they're there.

We've also spotted a few tidbits of information inside the APK, for which we haven't found corresponding interfaces just yet. If you see this functionality live, let us know in the comments.

<string name="LOCATION_NOTIFICATIONS_SETTINGS_TITLE">Location notifications</string>
    <string name="LOCATION_NOTIFICATIONS_SETTINGS_SHOW_TITLE">Show Notifications</string>
    <string name="LOCATION_NOTIFICATIONS_SETTINGS_SUMMARY">Get notified about information relevant to your current location, such as transit stations, airports, restaurants, and stores.</string>
    <string name="LOCATION_NOTIFICATIONS_ACTION_GET_DIRECTIONS">Directions</string>
    <string name="LOCATION_NOTIFICATIONS_ACTION_VIEW_SCHEDULE">View schedule and alerts</string>
This set of strings appears to be related to getting location-specific contextual notifications. As the strings suggest, these would include notifications about nearby "transit stations, airports, restaurants, and stores." Google already offers up some similar information in Google Now, including last transit options from your location at night.
<string name="I_AM_HERE_V2_NOTIFICATIONS_INSTALL_APP_TEXT">Install App</string>
<string name="I_AM_HERE_V2_NOTIFICATIONS_PLACE_PAGE_BUTTERBAR_TEXT">Notification settings</string>
These strings might look familiar to those readers who have been following our APK Teardowns. Last summer, Cody uncovered some "I Am Here" dogfood strings in a previous version of Maps, pointing to a "check-in" style interaction where a user can declare or confirm that they are at a specific location. We still can't be sure how this feature will look when it's done (these strings aren't a great hint), but it seems clear that the functionality is still being worked on.
We've got the new Maps APK available for download below. If you find any new user-facing features that we haven't noticed yet, let us know in the comments.
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:

Version: 9.3.0 (903007124) Android 4.3+

MD5: 8fa13c8900aaf35250d2547159081a88