This time, the tech giant is aligning its Google Maps enhancements with Lollipop's Material Design. For those not in the know, Material Design is the sum of all improvements the Android team has done to the mobile operating system's look and design, incorporating it with a more organized layout, animations, and an enhanced overall user experience.
The new version of Google Maps promises more of the same. Thus, users will find out soon for themselves how much sharper, neater, and more colorful the updated Google Maps is. Of course, Google is quick to note that there will be no major changes to functionality.
Still, the improvements should make Google Maps a more interactive and helpful tool. For instance, when users tap on the info sheet at the lower part of the app screen, they will see an info layer pop up, displaying images and even reviews of the venue. Also, an “Explore” feature is incorporated on the bottom of the map to help users find new spots to check out.
The new and improved Google Maps will also have much better integration with Uber and OpenTable. Earlier this year in May, Google had integrated two features that allow users to “Get an Uber” and view the estimated time of drop-off. This time, Google Maps is now capable to displaying the time of pick-up and the estimated price for your route.
As for OpenTable, you can now book a restaurant reservation using the enhanced Google Maps app via OpenTable (but only in the United States only). In the previous version of Google Maps, users only get a link to OpenTable when they search for a restaurant. But now, it allows users to make the reservation directly without leaving the Google Maps app.
Google is clearly making an effort to apply Material Design in all its essential apps. Earlier this week, the tech giant had already enhanced its Calendar app, giving it an updated look that is more consistent with the user interface of Android 5.0 Lollipop. Now, it is Google Maps's turn.
Android users can now get the newest version of Google Maps via Google Play. As for iOS users, they can download it for free on the App Store.
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