Following a bit of an outcry from users, Google has once again updated Google Maps for Android and this time around they addressed the issue of offline maps. This all came as a result of the Google Maps v7 update that was announced just about a day ago. It seems, while not removing offline maps completely, Google had that functionality hidden a bit and only accessible by typing “OK Maps” into the search bar.
Well, this latest updates has removed the need to know the OK Maps trick, though Google did mention that will remain working for those who “still want some thumbercise.” Moving forward Maps for Android users looking for offline maps will need to find the “make this map area available offline” card. This card will be on the bottom sitting just below the search box.
Google has said this update will be rolling out on a global basis beginning today. Or in other words, if you aren’t seeing it just yet, try to take some comfort in knowing it should be there sooner rather than later. Otherwise, in dealing with this offline maps issue, Google also took some time to mention Latitude. If you remember back to the last update, Google also mentioned they were killing Latitude.
In this case Google is not backing down, however they are offering a bit more information. Users will be able to find a new “Where’s Latitude?” link and a click of that will take you to a help page. This can be found on the bottom of the side menu and Google tells the story about how it will provide additional information “about the future of location sharing.” Latitude will be shutting down on August 9th.
Otherwise, the previous Maps for Android update brought a few worthwhile changes including a new dedicated interface for tablet users. The review system had also been improve and users should notice details including Zagat reviews which sit alongside Offers and ratings from other users and friends. Finally, several navigation items including live traffic updates, incident reports and dynamic rerouting were also improved.