Credit: Derek Walter
A slight bump in the version number is bringing a pretty big change to how navigation works in Google Maps for Android.
Version 9.14 provides a much nicer interface and gives you more options to planning out your route. For example, when you input your destination and beginning point, you’ll see options for driving, transit, walking, or biking right away. Previously, these choices were tucked away behind this screen and included a rather tiny map view.
There’s also some type of clever analysis going on behind the scenes, as the route in the screenshot includes “the usual traffic” as the description. Google knows the Bay Area well.
Google Maps also gives you more details about a restaurant or other venue’s busiest hours. You can now see how packed the location is, broken down by day, thanks to a new pop-up menu.
Why this matters: Google is never content to leave its apps alone, though its changes are usually for the better. The key to get more out of Google Maps is to use all the different menus and informational cards to see what else pops up, as sometimes changes roll out from Google’s servers without an update to the app itself.
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