Update 'rolling out to Android 4.0.3+ users over the next few weeks,' according to Play Store listing

A little under two months ago at Google I/O, Google offered a preview of the next version of Maps for Android. Stand-out features included a completely revamped UI, with a search bar front and center, together with smoother visuals, a re-tooled Zagat experience and Google Offers support.

Today it seems the new version of Maps — ver. 7.0 to be precise — has started to push to some users though Google Play. If you're not seeing it yet, you're not alone. None of our devices are seeing the update, and the "what's new" entry for the app suggests it could be weeks before many get access to the new Maps — "This update will be gradually rolling out to Android 4.0.3+ users over the next few weeks."

Google also highlights a re-worked UI for Android phones and tablets, including a new tablet UI with less chrome and clutter, and a greater focus on the actual map. There's also enhanced navigation including "live traffic updates, incident reports and dynamic rerouting," and a new "explore" section showing shops, restaurants, hotels and other attractions nearby.

Google's transitioning certain features away from Maps, and as such check-ins and Latitude support are absent in the new version (the company's blog post says it'll be retired altogether from Aug. 9). "My Maps" support is also absent for the moment, as is offline map caching, at least as officially — you can still cache areas of the map by typing "OK Maps" in the search box, in a sort of Easter egg.

As always, the version of Google Maps available to you will vary based on your device and which version of Android you're running. If you're on 4.0.3 or above, hit the Google Play Store to see if your update is ready, and let us know if in the comments if you manage to pick it up.

More: Google previews next major Maps update at Google I/O

Source: Google Maps Blog

 

Reader comments

New Google Maps app starting to seed on Google Play

77 Comments

It also now will only cache a smaller area offline than previously. In earlier versions I could cache all of Central Massachusetts, when I try to do that now I get "Map Area too large". Also you have no way of knowing exactly what areas you've cached. Complete idiocy on the part of Google.

Latitude has also moved into Google+, it is easier to set up but there is no course location sharing (as far as I can see) although they imply there is.

Bottom Line - Google are you listening, We would like My Maps feature back. It is what brought me to a Android device in the first place. Us Business people use it.

the best free offline maps is (rmaps). first, you will need to download (mobile atlas creator version 1.8) on your pc, which allow you to download google maps of any where and any size. unlimited.
note: select map source (google maps). zoom level (17 is good for cities). atlas settings (format: RMaps SQLite). then create it.
then, insall (rmaps) on phone. copy paste the saved maps the (phone memory> rmaps> maps). then open rmaps>settings>user defined maps> select the maps.
it work great. i have all europe (google maps) saved on my phone. enjoy.

There apparently are a number of versions of this app being seeded by Google. I highly suggest waiting for Google to push it.

I agree. I think people should wait for their device to get it. People might inadvertently load an incompatible version or a version that breaks functionality because it wasn't meant for their device.

Dude, read the comments above your head. Not everyone's Android device is the same, so it's best that the user just wait for Google Play to push the update.

Posted via Android Central App

Explore is nicer than I thought. Seems well designed. I found a nice pub worth checking out only a couple of miles away.

There's an option to add a public transport layer but it appears nonfunctional - even zooming to the nearest city shows no bus stops or routes (which is what I'd expect it to be for, since train stations are already on the basic map).

I'll believe the rerouting stuff when I see it.. My experience with such things has not been good (eg. TomTom taking me off a motorway that was clear straight into busy traffic, because there had been an accident several hours ago and they hadn't updated their database).

Posted via Android Central App

The Explore cards interface just doesn't show up for me. Really weird, and it looks really cool in the commercial!

Don't really care about latitude, but removal of offline maps and custom maps is a turn off. Many people in many different countries have a rather limited data plan, they can't rely on downloading maps on the go every time they need the maps. This is more of a downgrade rather than an upgrade.

Posted via Android Central App

It has them - try running new maps without a data connection.. It works fine provided it has had chance to see the location before - presumably it works at least as well as the old one did that precached all the maps along your planned route.

Plan your route whilst on WiFi and the data use us going to be nearly zero.

Posted via Android Central App

The offline maps is drastically hindered. You can only cache a much smaller area than previously, there also appears to be no way to see what areas you've previously cached. Completely useless. Already downgraded to previous version.

hello. I also have the google maps version 7.2.0 and i cannot star or save a point that is outside of the main streets. not like on version 6, it can be done. You have mentioned that you already downgraded to previos version. How can I downgrade my google maps from version 7 to version 6?

I disagree, although the new maps has some key features missing you can tell they've reworked the whole application to make it look cleaner and easier to use. They'll no doubt add the missing features ASAP so I dont see it to be a downgrade at all

So Google has killed latitude? My family loved that feature.

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah the loss of offline maps is huge, hopefully they see the light of day.

As others have said, the ability to cache your local town (I cache the entire Greater London area) is crucial if you have a small data allowance or like the ability to load up maps with no waiting for the network to download the data, or wanted to check a map while on the tube.

For me also, when travelling the offline cache is crucial. Before travel I could save a map of the town I was going to, which meant no huge roaming data charges.

Woke up this morning and it was waiting to be updated. So far it looks pretty awesome. Now to find out what this dynamic rerouting means.

Dynamic rerouting means that if Maps detects a traffic jam or something while you're driving, it will change the route it gives you automatically. It's probably some of the stuff they're taking from Waze.

Sweet stuff, thanks. Btw anybody else having a problem with Google talk today or last night. It says I am online by me but not by anybody else and neither receives the others ones messages. (Ps never updated to hangout, don't want it, but I don't think that would affect it) thanks in advance

I got the update late last night, and so far I'm loving what they've done to the new app. I've also noticed that they got rid of the Navigation "app" and just consolidated the whole thing into Maps.

No more option for a zoom in or out button and no more latitude.. Wtf man! Pinching to zoom sucks.. I know you can double tap.. But I need to zoom out easily too

Posted via Android Central App

There's been a new gesture for a while now that lets you zoom in and out with one hand. Double tap and hold; swipe up to zoom in, down to zoom out.

Thanks for that.. I forgot all about it.. You got a fix for latitude too ;) just kidding.. Thanks though.

Posted via Android Central App

I know WTF! I'm with you I loved my zoom in and out buttons on screen. I typically use Google maps when I'm driving, and I need quick buttons on screen to zoom in and out, this is crucial since I only have one hand to operate my note 2.

Got it! Looks pretty cool but definitely an adjustment. I will miss playing with my location history though.

Well I can't use this update until Google put back my maps functions. My maps is an important function in my day to day business. I have anywhere from 15-24 stops I have. I create my maps the night before from my work orders, save the map and use gmaps to navigate Detroit metro. Wow, cannot believe they dropped this function in this update to be added in a later update.

Posted via Android Central App

I agree. It is a shame that you can no longer rate apps without signing into plus. I used to rate businesses to help others be more informed and even that was removed.

Then don't. Just because you have a Google+ profile doesn't mean you have to update your mood, add new friends, and post on your circles.

Make a Google+ account and only use the features you want to use. I really don't see what the issue is.

Got the update! Much cleaner design and removed a lot of clutter. The cards are present as well when you pull up a location you can just scroll down instead of having to click on it and it takes you somewhere else. Not bad. Feels good to be a nexus owner hehe.

Posted via Android Central App

What I've never understood about Google Maps is why you can't download an entire City / State / Country to cache locally. My Lumia (900 and 920) both do this via Nokia... rather, HERE maps. I think I'd rather give up 2GB to download and cache an entire US map that I have to update periodically.

The problem is the size. I cached the area where I camp and it was 4GB for probably 15x15 mile area - and there are not a lot of roads to save.

New to Android here. When I go to Play, it says it's new version as of 7/9/13. Options are Open or Uninstall. When I open the app on my phone and check version info, it says 6.14. How is this?

Posted via Android Central App

I'm guessing Google is just alerting people on what version their phone must be on and announcing the incoming update will be rolling out soon

Posted via my Galaxy S4 using the Android Central App

Fear not....lots of us here at one point or another came here from Blackberry...I came over back in fall of 2010. Not looking back either :D

I was able to get the update on mine (Galaxy S2 Skyrocket with CM10.1 stable). I agree on offline features have been changed, not for the better.

If this update *still* doesn't fix the crashing problems Maps/Navigation has with EVO LTE, I'm not bothering with it.

Has there been any mention anywhere about whether the new version is as much of a battery hog as the current version? Constantly waking the device for location services really kills the battery! I know at Google I/O they talked about better data compression but I'm curious to see if the new maps is better at managing battery usage.

Posted via Android Central App

I have to say the new design is gorgeous! Google did a great job with this update. Maps are clear and uncluttered. The search function and cards are much better than expected. Good job Google!

The update seems a bit slower on my nexus 4. Zooming in and out isn't as smooth as before and animations seems a bit sluggish. Anybody else experiencing these issues?

Posted via Android Central App

Yep, super laggy on Note 2. The app got stuck in a loop spinning in circles while on the freeway. I can't jump out and right back to maps/nav now anymore either. When I do it is stuck in trying to plot a new course while still having the old route running behind it with no visual data, only voice. Once I try to plot the new version of the destination it crashes multiple times before I can get it to work again. Not something to try to do while on the road. No stars crap freeware update with scattered and missing former features. Worst Google update I have ever come across.

My Maps support is HUGELY important to me. I travel frequently and, prior to the trip, create maps with all the locations I need to visit. If I can't pull up that map on my Nexus, I'm completely f***ed.

I've never not updated an app on my phone, but removing offline maps (OK maps is *not* a replacement. It is a hack with a subset of the functionality), and the loss of My Maps is something that is, frankly, a deal breaker for me. I simply cannot use Google Maps on Android without that functionality.

My Maps is a tool I use on a very regular basis, I travel for work and I have a "My Map" for every location with the airport, location of the office(s), hotel, frequently visited restaurants, etc. No access to that on my phone = useless app.

Offline Maps is a less used feature, but it is a feature that when it is needed, it is *really* needed. It isn't like I have no data on my phone or am out of coverage a ton. I live in a city and have unlimited date. But there are times when the offline maps are almost essential. Heck, this weekend i'm taking a road trip through the Rocky Mountains. Most places in the mountains, even on main highways, have either poor or no mobile coverage. Offline maps is essential in those areas.

"I love the new Google Maps!"

"Looks awesome!"

"Much cleaner design & looks less cluttered!"

Are you people smoking something, or did your phones/tablets get a different update than my Galaxy Note 2 got?!! This "update" or "upgrade" is HORRIBLE, and is a HUGE step backwards! On the maps, main city streets are no longer highlighted/colored yellow; there are no zoom controls on the map (yes, I know you can pinch-to-zoom, or double-tap and hold, but NO way to easily go back to the default zoom level!); the separate Navigation app is gone now, causing at least one extra tap to navigate; all the areas where there's text or where you need to type are white, and the text isn't very easy to read against that background because it's too small/not dark enough; at night, with the darkened background used at nighttime (I'm talking about Navigation, or the turn-by-turn directions part), there isn't enough contrast between the darker background and the roads on the map to make them out clearly, without having to look too closely & diverting too much attention from the road, and where's the layers - specifically the satellite view?!! I drive a tractor-trailer for a living, and often used the satellite view to find where best to pull into a shopping center (I deliver to grocery stores & retail stores) with my truck, or to even see if a stores parking lot is big enough to park in overnight (yes, I know I could buy a dedicated truck GPS, but Google Navigation always worked-out fine for me, with the features it's now missing, and I'm not stupid enough to take my truck down a road I shouldn't)!

I left Windows 8 for two reasons - Xbox Music was screwing-up the metadata tag info on my music files that I was putting on the phone, and because I liked Google Navigation so much better than Nokia Drive (or, Nokia HERE). Now, with all the updates Microsoft is coming out with for Windows 8?Windows Phone 8, and with how badly Google screwed Maps/Navigation up, it might be time for me to go back!

My Verizon Galaxy Note 2 hasn't received the update yet.
(edit, just noticed that Play Store shows an update for
my Note 2 now, but I'm not going to update it at all)

However, my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0(wifi-only) received it.

After using it for 20 minutes, I can safely that I don't like the new updates to Google Maps.

I'll list some of the reasons. (in no particular order)

(1)
zoom in/out buttons now gone... making it impossible
to navigate the map when holding/operating the device
with just one hand... this is very unsafe

(2)
the new fonts are small and hard to read, especially
when the device is in a car mount. (the new fonts
are not black, but a lighter grey color, just like
what Google did to the new Play Store)

(3)
no longer possible to choose larger fonts

(4)
no longer possible to tap any point on the map and
see the address of that point... now I have to hold
it and make it drop a pin, then press on the pop-up
window to see the address... very silly change

(5)
no longer possible to see the accuracy of the GPS
lock.. previously, I only have to touch my current
location on a map within the little blue circle and
it will tell me how accurate the GPS signal was at
that moment

(6)
no longer possible to navigate between points B to C.
(previously, if I'm at point A, I can still look up
directions between two other points, other than my
current location)