Google has launched a brand new Google Maps app that finally brings the navigation service in a dedicated app for iPad and Android devices.
Building on the dedicated iPhone app launched in December last year after the Apple Maps fiasco, the new Google Maps will not only bring the service to iPad, but will introduce new features across all platforms.
“The new Google Maps for mobile builds on the design we released for iPhone last December and improves on it with a few useful search and navigation features,” said Daniel Graf, Director of Google Maps in the official Google blog post. “And it’s the first dedicated app for Android tablets and iPads.”
Google has highlighted several new Google Maps features coming to Android and iOS users. The first is the ability to tap the search bar within Google Maps to bring up cards showing local places to eat, drink and shop.
In addition to live traffic information, Google Maps will now allow users to see any traffic incidents along their journey and find out more information about those problems. Like a high-end Sat Nav, Google Maps will also adjust the journey plan if a better route becomes available to avoid any traffic incidents.
Both of these new navigation features will currently only be available to Android users, but Google says it is bringing the functionality to iOS users soon.
A new 5 star rating system has been introduces for local places and amenities so users can see what their friends thought of a local shop or restaurant.
Offline maps are now accessed by entering “OK Maps” (sounds faintly like a Google Glass command to us) into the search box for the area the user wishes to look at later offline. Unfortunately this seems a laborious way to save maps for offline viewing.
Latitude and check-ins have been removed from the new Google Maps app, and will disappear from current versions on August 9. Any location sharing will be done via Google Plus instead. Although this is only for Android users at present.
The new Google Maps app has already started rolling out as version 7 to Android users, and iOS users should see the update become available soon.
The app is compatible with Android Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean devices, while only iOS 6 users or above will get the new update.
Next, read our pick of the best Sat Navs