Google has started to silently roll out an update to its Google Maps app for Android. While it is only an incremental update with no major new features, it does introduce some changes to how the data is presented that will make the app easier to use and easier to look at.

Perhaps the biggest change happened not within the app itself but in its notification. The expanded notification now not only shows the destination and direction, it also shows additional information such as remaining time, distance, and estimated time of arrival. The Google Maps interface itself, ironically, decreased rather than increase. It still shows the same amount of information but now lays out the text in such a way that it looks more compact and easier to read.

Other changes include confirmation dialogs that ask whether you want to discard a review you’ve written, which could be handy for the times that you accidentally tap the back button. Under the hood, there are also improvements to caching of icons, which should result and fewer calls to the Google Maps server. There seem to have been hints of ad-related changes, which may raise some flags for some, though nothing is definite yet at this point.

All in all, the changes are not staggering, but they’re just the right kinds of tweaks that improve usability and the overall user experience. The Google Maps update is going out on staged rollouts so it will take some before it reaches everyone.

SOURCE: Android Police


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