Big Google Maps Update Rolling Out Now: Here’s What’s New

Google Maps is getting a new look along with new features.

Credit: Android Police

(Image credit: Android Police)

As promised at this year's Google I/O, Google is finally incorporating Google Maps into its highly anticipated Material Design. Android Police has reported a first look at the new user interface.

As of this morning, the new design seemed to be well on its way to rolling out widely—Android Police reported seeing it on "several devices." That said, it's a server-side update, which means that it's rolling out incrementally to certain users; you won't necessarily get it by downloading the most recent version of the app.

Android Police's screenshots show a newly rounded search bar, with some buttons, including the "Start" and "Routes" buttons, reformed into a smaller "stadium" shape. Much of the text is in a friendlier font called Product Sans. The map itself has abandoned its white and green color scheme for a more detailed, Google Earth-esque picture.

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The most exciting update, however, appears to be the overhauled "Explore" tab, which should turn Maps into a smarter Yelp competitor. The new tab includes a "Foodie list" of top rated restaurants in your vicinity, as well as nearby upcoming events. You can browse attractions by type, and events by date. 

Credit: Android Police

(Image credit: Android Police)

What's missing from the screenshots is the personal "For You" tab. At I/O, Google announced that tab would keep you informed about events in your favorite locations, regardless of proximity, and recommend restaurants and attractions based on those you often visit.

The company also expects to roll out a tool to help users make plans with their friends, involving a shareable shortlist of attractions that groups can vote on. Unfortunately, it looks like we may have to wait a bit longer for those features.