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Google Maps for Android 7.0 unveils redesign, improved navigation

11 July 2013, Nick Peers

Google MapsGoogle has unveiled too major updates for Android users with the release of Google Maps for Android 7.0 and Chrome for Android 28.0. Google Maps sports a brand new design for both Android tablets and phones, and comes with the promise of enhanced navigation and a new Explore option for tablet users.

Chrome for Android introduces Google Translate and a new user interface for right-to-left languages, plus extends full-screen view to tablets having previously implemented it on Android phones.

Google Maps 7.0’s brand new design, which will be rolled out to Android machines over the coming weeks, sees a cleaner, simpler interface that closely mirrors that found on the Google Maps for Desktop app.

Google Maps 7.0

The stripped back user interface will also be appearing shortly in the next iOS update, Google has revealed.

The interface provides a single search box with buttons for directions and accessing the user’s personal geographic data. Two buttons provide additional functionality – the Maps logo button reveals options for showing traffic, public transport, cycling, satellite imagery or switching to Google Earth, while users can centre the map on their device’s current location via the button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

The app’s navigation tools have also been tweaked to provide real-time traffic updates, with incident reports and directions rerouting dynamically to avoid them. Tablet users also gain a new Explore feature, providing users with new ways to discover local amenities such as restaurants, shops and accommodation.

Google has also released Chrome for Android 28, which adds Google Translate to the app’s roster – a translation bar will now appear when users are browsing sites in other languages offering to translate the page. Users can now also view web pages in full-screen on tablets as well as phones – simply scroll to hide the toolbar. Finally, a new user interface has been implemented for Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi and other right-to-left languages.

Both Google Maps for Android 7.0 and Chrome for Android 28.0 are available now as a free downloads for Android phones and tablets. Requirements vary.

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