Google to unveil new Maps interface at I/O conference next week

By on May 8, 2013, 11:30 AM

Google is reportedly planning to unveil an all-new look for Google Maps during the company’s annual I/O conference set to kick off next week. The new interface will deliver full-screen maps with no sidebars or other distractions to eat up valuable real estate. Instead, everything will be displayed in floating windows on top of the map.

Other noteworthy changes include changing the color of streets and refreshing a number of well-known icons. There will also be deeper Google+ integration in the new Maps. For example, you’ll soon be able to search for local results based on recommendations from those in your circles.

The overall idea with the refresh is to make Maps more user friendly on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. After all, these are the devices that people likely use Maps on the most. Gone are the days of routing your trip on a computer and printing turn-by-turn directions. Now, people simply use their smartphone for travel assistance on-the-fly.

Whether or not the refresh will be a hit among the masses remains to be seen. If we’ve learned anything about maps over the past year, it’s that people don’t like change (remember the Apple Maps fiasco?). Sure, Apple did a pretty terrible job with the actual mapping part, what with leading users to get lost in parks and whatnot. But the reality here is that the new Google Maps, if the screenshots are legit, borrow heavily from Apple’s look and style.

What’s more, do people really care about some of the new features like deeper Google+ integration? And what do you think about the new look overall? Sound off in the comments below!




User Comments: 7

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Guest said:

What's more, do people really care about some of the new features like deeper Google+ integration?

People that who is complaining about Google+. They are just simply silly, because you are not required to fill out your personal information other than your real name. You can make it invisible to the others too, so you don't have to use Google+'s social stuff when you log in.

I have Facebook and Google+ accounts. Both are same, I never have fill out my personal information but just my real name then make it invisible to the others. I don't use social stuff, but just log in stuff. They made it much easier to manage with the log in stuff.

treeski treeski said:

It's okay. It reminds me a little of the Win8 map, with the floating content.

JC713 JC713 said:

I think it is good that they are improving Maps constantly. It wasnt really on the top of my list in terms of expected improvements, but change and surprises are good.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I would have preferred a more beneficial update; the ability to use Google Maps offline. I have a Nexus 7, without 3g, that I would like to be able to use in the car. I know I I can download maps, but that does not support rerouting. If Garmin could do this years ago, one would think that it should not be a problem with a tablet!

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

I would have preferred a more beneficial update; the ability to use Google Maps offline. I have a Nexus 7, without 3g, that I would like to be able to use in the car. I know I I can download maps, but that does not support rerouting. If Garmin could do this years ago, one would think that it should not be a problem with a tablet!

Google probably can't do that due to patents or pressure from the companies. Think about it: offline routing with entire countries downloaded to Android phone - entire GPS industry goes bust.

Guest said:

Navfree does exactly the thing you're looking for. It uses Openstreetmaps and is very good at rerouting even offline. I use it on my non-3g Nexus 7.

Guest said:

By looking at Google's new Google Maps we can say that Google may launch its iPad ver in next week.

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