With every few updates, Google Maps seems to walk closer and closer to a full-fledged refresh of its Material interface, helping it go along with the new direction Google is taking this year with its app design language. We've seen a new look for the main interface, an updated side menu, overhauled hotel listings, new fonts in many places throughout the app, a persistent Overview/Reviews/Photos bar on some place listings, and even an update to the look of the app on Android Auto. But over the past couple of days, one more part of the app is getting its re-looking session: Directions. Read More
After teasing a navigation-optimized Google Assistant for Maps at I/O 2018, Google is now rolling out the feature to Android users. The new version of Google Assistant in Maps is smaller, less distracting, and executes more commands in the background. Read More
Long a staple of popular business directories like Yelp and Facebook, communicating directly with a business has been a curious omission from Google Maps for years now. While an attempt to integrate such functionality via the ill-fated Allo chat platform began last year, that obviously didn't pan out, and prior to that Google only allowed rudimentary messaging via business profiles on Google+ (which is also dying). Now, direct messaging support is coming inside the Google Maps app, which is really the only place it should have been to begin with, if you ask us.
Announced on Google's blog today, the functionality will be limited select regions for the time being, and businesses must opt in to messaging via their business profile settings in order for the feature to be exposed to customers. Read More
Do you have some favorite haunts around town? Well, now you can do more than star or save them in Maps—you can also follow them. Following a business gets you updates on events and promotions inside Maps. This feature is rolling out today on Android only. Read More
It seems like a new data privacy scandal crops up every day for some major tech company or another (okay, mostly Facebook) — but Google is working to opt out of that pattern. The tech giant has announced that it is building data privacy controls — and clear explanations of what it does with user data — into Search itself, on both desktop and mobile. Additionally, it notes that it'll give the same treatment to Maps next year, along with "many other Google products." Read More
Any maps app thrives on accuracy. Incorrect data should be removed, fixed quickly, or at least it should be marked as such. The Google Maps team keeps a list of its coverage details with markers for availability and data quality, and updates it every now and then to reflect the current state of affairs. Since the last change in July, some improvements have been made, but also some countries have had their data markers downgraded. Read More
It's been two years since Cody first started spotting signs of Google Maps' dish recommendations for restaurant listings. Ever since, we've known food reviews and photos were coming as well as tagging, prices, and more details. Now, it looks like Maps may be gearing up to roll out one aspect of this: tagging dishes. Read More