New Maps app available for devices with Android 4.0.3 or higher

Google Maps for Android: New UI and custom tablet interface

The Google Maps update for Android is now on the Play store, and works on both phones and tablets.

The app is available for devices with Android 4.0.3 or higher and brings a revamped interface offering live traffic updates, dynamic rerouting and incident reports.

In April, Google announced that its Maps users in the UK could help provide detailed local information to the service. Presumably this has helped the new ‘Explore’ feature which gives user the option to browse through popular local places to eat, shop or book a hotel room.

The redesign includes clearer fonts, fewer buttons and info cards and alternate routes pop up while you search. On tablets, the UI is slightly different, more closely matching the look and feel of the Google Maps desktop beta.

Google announced that the update for Android at its annual Google I/O event in May and the firm says it intends to release the new-look app for iOS as well.

To make way for the improvements, it seems Google has had to sacrifice its popular option to save offline maps. The feature was only one year old to begin with. However, Google has revealed that the company’s engineers have built an Easter egg enabling users to save a cached version of the visible map area locally by typing ‘OK maps’ (or ‘okay maps’) into the search box.

The update will be rolling out to all Android 4.0.3-plus users over the next few weeks.

Check out the Google’s video for the new Maps update below:

In May, PCR reported that a Chinese man found his way home via Google Maps after being abducted when he was five years old. In comparison, after Apple ditched Google Maps to released its own mapping app the Australian police issued a warning after the service directed motorists into dangerous terrain.

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