User feedback prompts new 'offline maps' card and 'where's Latitude' button
When Google launched its new Maps app for some users yesterday, it was criticized by some for the way offline maps had been handled. The feature, accessible via menus in earlier Maps versions, could only be activated by searching for "OK Maps" in the new app, in a sort of Easter egg.
Today the app has been updated once again with an easier way to download offline map caches — tap the (empty) search bar and you'll find "Make this map area available offline." It's perhaps not the most obvious place to put this feature, nor the most elegant-looking card, but we can't fault Google's fast turnaround on this issue. (The "OK Maps" shortcut will continue to function in the new version, Google says.)
In addition, there's now a "Where's Latitude" button in the main menu area linking to Google's support page on Latitude's retirement. The service, which is absent from the new Maps app, will be closed entirely on Aug. 9.
If you're running the new version of Maps, you should see an update to your app this morning. As an aside we're now starting to see the new Google Maps 7.0 on more of our devices, so if you're not updated yet you might want to check your Play Store app for updates.