Google teased quite a lot of changes to its apps and services at this year I/O conference, and some of them are starting to appear for many users. Take Google Maps for example, which received several small updates in the last few weeks and now is seeing a more important release on Android.
The new Material Theme design is now rolling out to some Android users, but it will eventually be pushed out to everyone who uses Google Maps. Now, it’s important to understand that this isn’t an update that you can download via Google Play Store, but likely a server-side update that is rolled out in waves.
AndroidPolice reports that the new Google Maps design is much cleaner and brighter, probably due to the use of the white colour all over the app’s menus and UI. The fonts have been changed and many of the buttons and icons have been redesigned and relocated.
The Explore window received the most changes and now features rounded colourful icons for each category, but there’s also a scrolling carousel that allows users to peruse through a plethora of restaurants, as well as a featured public list.
However, the promised “For You” tab that usually hosts personal recommendations and scores didn’t make it into this update, but we’re still expecting Google to make it available in the “next few months.”
Google Maps for Android has also been spotted to have added quick access buttons to let you easily navigate to your home or work. The latest change comes a long time after the Maps app offered the option to set certain addresses as home and work locations and navigate to them after tapping the search bar. You can also alternatively ask Google Assistant to navigate to your home or work location.
Having said that, the fresh development, which appears to be live for select Android users, is a welcome move as it makes navigation to preset places – at least to your home and office premises – easier than before.
As folks at Android Police reported, a Twitter user has spotted the new change in the Google Maps app. The screenshot posted by the user shows that instead of the home and work shortcuts that are presently available in the search menu, the newly designed quick action buttons exist on the home screen of Google Maps – right where the app shows you the map of your current location.
However, it is unclear whether the buttons will replace the existing shortcuts as there isn’t any major reason for both options to coexist.
In March, Google Maps for Android was found to have added as many as 14 quick actions, including nearby food, malls, metro stations, and directions to home and work. Users can add up to four shortcuts from the given list and place them within the quick actions menu.