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Google Maps for Android gains more detailed notifications, design improvements

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As part of a larger Maps update for desktop, which finally brings multiple destinations to navigation guidance, Google is rolling out Maps 7.3 for Android.

The crux of the update, as far as we can see, is the expansion of information in notifications on devices running Android 4.1 and above. In addition to instructions on where to turn next, Maps 7.3 now displays estimated arrival time and distance remaining.

All users will also benefit from minor design changes throughout the app, from more compact cards to smoother scrolling.

The update is rolling out now, and could take a few days to reach everyone, so head to Google Play and look for yourself.

  • deltatux

    Google really needs to give us offline navigation. That’s probably the only feature I will ever request from them for Maps/Navigation.

    • Zed

      Especially when their slogan is: “Never carry a paper map again”. In Canada, it doesn’t bother me much, but how will Google Maps help me in the States with a Canadian SIM? (I mean, of course, without the hassle of changing providers)

    • Ced2334

      If you have an unlocked phone just buy a Sim card through roam mobility. Recently went to new york for a few days.Bought the Sim card in canada at London drugs for 20 bucks (they sell other places too) and then activated service through their website. Cost me 11.95 for 3 days of unlimited voice and text in the states and back to Canada as well as 300MB of data which was more than enough for using Google maps. Came in real handy for subway transit in NYC. Keep in mind though it uses T-Mobile as the carrier so check coverage area before you go. Otherwise I was really pleased with the service I got for the price.

    • Mike

      i also use RoamMobility when travelling to the states.
      But a friend recently brought up the fact that T-Mobile offers the same thing, but slightly cheap. So he asked, why would i pay more for a company that piggybacks off T-Mobile rather than just go straight to T-Mobile for the same thing, but cheaper.

      the only thing i could come up with is that with RoamMobility you only need to top up once a year to keep your account active, where at T-Mobile you need to top up every 3 months….

    • Liberal Phone Person

      i think free calling to Canada isn’t included in the tmobile 3 dollars/day deal.

    • Ced2334

      I’ll look into that next time i go for sure. Mainly I was just interested in getting something I could set up locally (ie.get the Sim card etc)and have active as soon as I got off the plane.I didn’t want to have to worry about finding a T-Mobile or other carrier store even though I’m sure it would have been fairly easy. Either way it sure beats any of the big threes roaming packages. What an absolute ripoff those are!

    • charlie

      hey can you invite me to aviate sone_adrian@hotmail.ca

    • jonnny

      cant you download a whole city already?

    • deltatux

      Yes but it doesn’t do turn by turn navigation offline. Offline maps is only really useful if you’re walking around the city or you’re the passenger but completely dangerous for the driver who shouldn’t be holding their device while driving.

    • Richard Wangly

      Part of one, maybe. You can’t really tell how much is being saved, except when the “map area is too large”. Then it doesn’t save anything! :)

      Even so, you can’t do much of anything useful with it offline (see list of problems in my post above)

    • HelloCDN

      They won’t. Otherwise, it can’t be free.

    • deltatux

      I wouldn’t mind paying for offline navigation if it’s reasonably priced. I already do that with CoPilot GPS but would like to use Google Navigation instead.

    • Richard Wangly

      Not just offline navigation. The whole offline portion needs a major upgrade.

      - You can save results/locations as handy stars, but only the name is viewable offline… No more street address, store hours, streetview thumbnail. Utterly incomprehensible. And yet it manages to save the 3D height-map for all the buildings in downtown Toronto. Hello, I am not flying a plane.

      - You can save areas as offline maps, but the interface for this was removed. You can’t tell what area you’re saving, at what level of detail, how much space it’s taking on your device…

      - Following your GPS location or simply switching through viewing modes often makes all of your saved destinations disappear, forcing you to close Maps and start again.

      - Offline caching grabs most of the street names, but no address ranges like 1000-1500 King St W, which is rather helpful in a medium-large city.

      My (wifi-only) N7 was great for was getting from point A to point B on a recent trip, but my paper map was far more versatile and faster to use. The ONLY advantage the app has, is giving your current location. Which is, unless you’re in the bush, usually the easiest question to answer.

    • deltatux

      I agree with your post, but Offline Navigation is really the only thing I ask for because it seems it’s the only thing I probably will never get from the Google Maps team at this point…. >.>”

  • jonnny

    multiple stops is great. will be very helpful for realtors. a friend of mine was just about to buy a gps unit because she needs to be able to put multiple stops in. now she can just buy a decent phone instead.

  • Tobias van der Wal

    Type “OK maps” in the search bar in the app when viewing a city/destination etc and it will cache the map for offline….

  • Balls O’Steele

    They need to buy out Navionics and add a nautical chart layer. Also the scale bar shouldn’t disappear so fast, and there should be a distance measurer which they had before. Also bring back the terrain layer.

  • leobg

    Ever since version 6.14.4, navigation part has really degraded. Most useful functions gone or hard to access, stuff that took single tap, now requires several taps to achieve. Screen cluttered with huge useless text boxes, map and track behind barely shown.
    I really hope Google releases dedicated navigation app that work as it did before. Or at least 6.x version doesn’t get ‘disabled’ somehow by them.

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