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Google recently rolled out a new look for Maps on Android, bringing it in line with other Google properties and focusing on search, with a prominent search bar at the top of the screen. Now the company says it's going to start displaying local, "relevant" ads at the bottom of the screen after users search within the Maps app for Android and iOS. The new ad system, Google claims, will be "attractive for users and more effective for advertisers."

Ads will take up a portion of the screen when a search is performed, allowing users to swipe up to view more details — for example, contact details and directions. This results in a charge for advertisers — and from this view, there are other click options, some of which advertisers are charged for.

It's no great surprise to see Google expanding its advertising reach. And ads in Google Maps search results are nothing new — the old version of Maps displayed traditional ad blocks for certain searches, just like Maps on the web. With this latest change, Google will be hoping that local ads with increased relevance to searches will result in more clicks, while also being less obtrusive to users.

Google Adwords customers can find more specific details over at the source links.

Source: Google Adwords Blog


Reader comments

Google bringing 'relevant ads' to Maps search on mobile


In other wards, as a site admin, I get more power while my customers will lose their rights. This can be bit dangerous and Google and other companies will face issues in places like EU where privacy laws are for the people of the nation NOT the companies like in US.

Also, I fear the direction Google Inc is going could lead to the downfall of Android platform.

Am I missing something? No one is forcing you or your customers to use Google Maps. Just like you don't have to pick up a newspaper or magazine if you don't want to see ads.

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Actually the websites I run, the companies have placed the ads in a way that without giving out information like your location (buy flowers in your area type of thing), you cannot access ANY information whatsoever. For example, a university research database funded by my tax money use Google Custom Search WITH Google Ads. So where is my option to access research data funded by Canadian Tax droller without the Google getting in my way?

Think about it for a second. They are forcing this on our public sector too. I am no tin foil guy and I love Google services. But I think EU and others should look into dangerous American policies instead of going to bed with the American companies like Canada!

...and the newspapers do not keep your search data up to million years on their servers just to hand over to American Government for political assassinations.

Do you really think people in 100 years, much less 10 million years are going to care that you searched for "dwarf porn" when you were alone and had some time to kill on a Sunday afternoon?

+1 I agree, also AdWords advertisers should take a personal look at what's showing up under their Google places listing. Advertisers will find one of three things: 1. Their own ad will show meaning that they could pay for a click that's already been found organically (this happened to us and doubled our ad costs last month with no additional conversions). 2. A competitors ad will show even after you've been found organically. Keep in mind that this will be an ad for a competitor on your places page, the very page dedicated for end users to find out about your company. 3. The ad shown will be irrelevant.. We could only hope as advertisers. Users and advertisers alike need to voice and post concerns now. Since Google insists on pushing this bogus feature we will likely cancel our campaigns soon.

Downgraded to the previous version of Maps. It was much more functional, with less hidden features.

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Is navigation and street view still functional? I saved the old map .apk file. I was going to go back but then I realized the new version of Google maps removed these two apps (they are now part of Google maps).

I still have my navigation app icon, and it works perfectly. I'm fully upgraded to the newest version too. Weird....

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I agree. I uninstalled the update and went back to 6.14.2. I have not kept up with every version so I am not sure how far back that is but I do know I like it so much more than the latest version and that's all that matters to me.


I downgraded to 14.2 myself a number of weeks ago.

I "like" some of the improvements that google is doing with maps, both in Android and web based Google Maps.

However, I think google might lose sight of the forest for the trees sitting right in front of them. And I gave them that feeback when I got my invite to test the new Google Maps. And I often need to revert to "classic" maps because the new Maps just doesn't DO anything besides provide a more "pretty" way of finding coffee shops. That just isn't very functional.

I understand google wants to make money (from advertsing). That makes sense.

But they won't make more money (clicking ads) if the functionality of their maps is diminished and I have to stop using it because it no longer does the things I use it for! I think they are shooting themselves in the footWe can all find local coffee shops already with SEARCH! We want/neep Maps for mapping/routing purposes!

Gmail is a fine email client... and I think they understand people would use other email services if the functionality better suits the needs of users. The same is true of Maps.

Google build FUNCTIONALITY that's why we all used your maps in the first place... the advertising revenue takes care of itself after that. But people will switch to offerings from Garmin, Tom-Tom, ect... if your maps don't help them to get around in the world and do the things we do.

And we really do more than go to coffee shops and retailers...

It's not the relevant ads that is the problem (for most of us). It is all the useful functionality that they have been stripping out of their map apps that we are complaining about.

I agree. The new version of Google Maps is so horrendous that I now use MapQuest and MapQuest isn't very good.

It's just unreal how bad the new Google Maps is.

I agree. I find it unreal mainly because I haven't experienced it. Your objections are like a rainbow unicorn.

Oh my gosh, yes! I was just in the midst of a group of other people and we were all saying how we have LOVED Google Maps so much but HATE this new version! It's so difficult to navigate, so NOT INTUITIVE, and seemingly impossible to find the functionality you relied on in previous versions. I'm a techie and a power user of Google services and Android, and it just makes me feel lost and frustrated. Things like saving local maps and overlaying restaurants are burred in illogical places you just wouldn't think to look. I've wasted so much time. Many seem to think as I was starting to wonder that those functionalities were simply removed. It's still the best maps and navigation, but they seriously missed it on the intuitive functionality front with this release.

Yes! I hated having so much screen space available to actually see the roads I was turning on...


Ahhh... but now you don't get the street NAME labeled on the map... so you don't know the NAME of the street you are turning on, or the ones leading up to it. But it sure can label the Walgreen's and coffeehouses just fine. Advancement indeed!

(Actually, it more often than not MISLABELS the location of Walgreen's and other places... often showing it on the wrong side of street... occasionally an open field will show a Bed Bath and Beyond or some similar place. I would click on that location and tell them its wrong... but clicking it doesn't do ANYTHING in navigation. I'd gladly give up a few pixels of screen space for a relevant freaking map.)

I've done a side by side comparison of my route home from work between the new and old maps... its shocking how often, when jumping to each turn preview, that the new maps shows NO labels whatsoever... while the old one labeled the highway (with interstate icons) labeled side-streets and service roads.

This was a big problem with Apple Maps when it came out... things looked pretty, but the actual USEFULNESS of the map had diminished.

I can't even figure out how to get to back the navigation screen on the new version of maps. I used it once immediately after upgrading, it loaded good but after I checked a text message and went back to Maps for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to get back to the navigation app.

I hate this update. It is a waste of screen space. I honestly am hoping the back lash about it forces google to remove this downgrade.

This is the first time ever that I'm glad Motorola didn't upgrade my firmware. Since I don't have anything above GB, apparently, it's not updating.

That said, I don't see a way to turn auto update off so if I do end up getting it, I'll have to switch to Waze. I like Google maps and use it for my job every day and an update like this is ridiculous.

Won't let me edit the comment, so this was posted by sleze on the XDA forum:

"If you want to go back to a fully featured version of maps, just go into my apps in the app store, select maps and then press uninstall. It will take off the new version (downgrade) and revert you to the old (fully functional) version."

Since I don't have anything above GB, I don't know if it works, but people were thanking him so I can only guess that it does. How to turn off auto update is another problem though.

That's exactly what I did yesterday and it worked perfectly for me. I do not like the new maps so I am happy I am now on 6.14.2. The features on that version work much better for me.

That's if Maps was installed as a system app, and you installed newer/undesirable Maps on top of it, in user space.

It's also worth noting that it's likely that the system app ("fully functional version") is older than the last "fully functional" version.

Google is like a nice drug cartel.

First they give you all the drugs you want for FREE.

After you're addicted to their products, you're expected to pay for your own drugs.

Too're already hooked.

And folks just keep feeding Google data. I get that their services are well built and finding a solution that matches it can be difficult, but you don't have to look too far or pay too much $$ in order to find it.

To each his own though....I'm sure there are plenty of folks happy as a clam with what Google offers (some of which are fully knowing what Google does with the data), but I'm just grateful there are other options out there.

Not sure what issues ppl have with the new maps app? Seems fine to me

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-Navigation Colors are bad... beige on beige, or at night even worse with side-streets often nearly invisible while bright glaring labels float at locations like Walgreen's and other stores.... and the rare times it labels streets its bizzare seeing the white label out in the middle of nowhere.

-No navigation icon to launch directly into navigation.
-Can't use navigation view without a destination.
-Removal of features. (Labs features like a scale, measure tool, terrain view.)
-Removal of latitude (which most people didn't even know existed.) Pushed a poor-mans version of this into G+ which isn't accessible from main Maps app.
-Navigation mode omits labels for most streets, making it difficult to geo-reference yourself (IE: "what streets are coming up before my turn?"
-My maps functionality.

I can keep going. There are a few things I do like about the new maps... but overall its a terrible update and an embarrassment for Google. I've reverted back... but like an idiot I keep checking the new one, hoping they fixed something.

Use it to navigate somewhere, then while the navigation is up switch to another app and go back to Maps. Good luck in trying to figure out how to get the navigation back that you saw before switching to another app.

It seems to be sporadic: sometimes it loses the navigation, sometimes it doesn't.

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Others have mentioned it, but it's important. The loss of My Maps functionality is a huge step backward and is the single most important reason I refuse to "upgrade" - or more correctly, replace a wondefully useful app with a gaudy but useless bauble. I'm so serious about this that I reset my N4 so that I now have to manually update all apps.

What's so important about My Maps? It allows the user to plan out a trip, create aand save desktop Google Map with all destinations shown on the map, and use that on the mobile device to find one's way around. I consider it an essential business travel function.

This. I love the new look, and since I travel a lot, seeing ads for hotels and restaurants, whilst navigating, will be a bonus.

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Alex, might there be some kind of metric showing the update trend to version 7 of Maps? I have also downgraded back to 6.14, as it's far more useful, specifically in that navigation persists while I switch back and forth between other apps. With this new version, I have to restart navigation every time I come back to it, through s cumbersome interface. This is the first version of the app I have disliked enough to ignore, and there seem to be very few articles reflecting the growing volume of negative comments from various sites about this, all the the same family of complaints. Has AC seen enough of these to warrant a commentary?

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the very first update to version 7.x of maps was horrible, IMO. unfortunately, i screwed up when trying to remove just the update and ended up removing the entire google maps app. so i re-installed google maps from the play store, i got the new 7.x version. bleh!!!

The new version of Google Maps is slower and doesn't respond well to my inputs. Directions are more complex too

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