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New Google Maps rolls out to all computers

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GMaps
New Google Maps

Google has started sending its latest version of Google Maps out to all computers.

The new version includes a completely redesigned interface and full integration of Google Earth, not to mention new routing options.

This version of Google Maps has actually been available to some users since May 2013, when Google revealed it at Google I/O. Now, though, this preview version is being replaced by a finalised version and sent live as the default Maps experience.

Perhaps the most notable new element, as we noted in our preview of the preview (if you catch our meaning), is the elimination of the side bar and the introduction of an all-powerful search bar.

It means that the map view now fills the screen. That search bar, meanwhile, can be used for everything. Search for coffee and it’ll show you the top cafes in the area you’re focused on, for example.

Search for a town or address, and a number of possible locations will pop up below the search bar. Click on that location and a number of contextual boxes will open to enable directions, Street View, or a deeper exploration of the local amenities.

Google has also incorporated the card view that originated in Google Now when figuring out the best route. It will now give you multiple options, with the estimated travel time, distance, and traffic delays. There’ll also be a public transport option.

Key imagery for the area of focus is available at all times in the little box at the bottom right, which also contains Pegman for that traditional drag-and-drop Street View experience.

The new Google Maps will be rolling out to all desktops around the world over the coming weeks.

Read More: Google Nexus 5 review

Via: Google official blog

Steven Richards

February 20, 2014, 6:11 pm

Why is it that (especially) software providers try the nonsensical path of changing the visual and functional aspects of interface? This likely alienates existing users (including myself) who now struggle to find the same functionality that worked so well before. Are they hoping to find new users? Perhaps in time, but certainly the initial response will be to utilize those competing packages and an immediate net loss in users. While I would always initially go to GoogleMaps, this has come to an abrupt halt as I will now first look at MapQuest, etc. A better way to add new users would be to enhance the internals (functionality, security, efficiency, etc) rather than surrendering to idiot marketing ploys with a "new and marvelous" look.

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