Our long national nightmare is finally over—Google has updated Maps with a translucent status bar. No more will you stare at that flat black status bar and curse your life and everyone in it.

2015-05-19 03.34.44 2015-05-19 03.51.46

Left: old, Right: new

The status bar is plain gray on the main map interface, but it's blue in the areas of the app that use a standard action bar (i.e. local business listings and the settings). There very well may be some other changes lurking in Maps 9.9, but nothing is jumping out at us. It's possible we've simply been thrown off by the shocking addition of the translucent status bar. You'll need to be on Lollipop to see any difference, though.

I should note that readability of the bar is somewhat bad when there's a busy map on the screen. At least it's more consistent with Google's other apps. You can grab the update from APK Mirror below if you don't want to wait.

More changes

The new version of Maps has a few more tricks up its sleeve. You'll get a notification card at the bottom of the screen when starting navigation that acts as a summary of the route. It tells you if you're going the fastest way, if there are any delays, and so on. You get spoken alerts to this effect as well. There are also slight tweaks to the design of the alternative route bubbles.

Screenshot_2015-05-19-10-01-54 Screenshot_2015-05-19-11-19-24

Google Maps - Navigate & Explore
Google Maps - Navigate & Explore
  • Thanks:
  • Paul Werner,
  • Braden Farmer,
  • Michael D,
  • Eirik Jansson Haverstad