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Google Brings Local Ads to New Google Maps App for Android


Today, Google announced the return of clickable ads for the Google Maps app for Android. When a user makes a search for a particular place/business, a corresponding result with be featured (advertised), which will then allow for the user to either look up that business’s information and from there, the choice is the searcher’s. 

This is big for business owners that are looking to bring more attention to their stores, given that Google Maps is currently used by over 1 billion people every month.

Relevant ads on the Google Maps app can now appear at the bottom of the screen after a user performs a search. They include a title, ad text, and a link to get directions. Users can tap or swipe upward to see more information — this is a new click type known as “Get location details” and results in a standard CPC charge.

Google is pretty well known for showing the right ads at the right time, so don’t be alarmed if these new ads tend to help more so than get in the way. At least, we would hope so.


  • Mobile User
  • rslh

    I think it’s sweet that the graphic is still showing some GN love!!

  • Anon

    I had wanted Google Maps and Navigation to merge for some time. It just made sense to me.

    And then it happened –and the app is not improved. I no longer seem to have history of previous destinations –this SUCKS when I’m in another state on business and have 3-4 locations I’m traveling back and forth to, I have to do a search for each one. The interface is more of a pain, and less intuitive. I just found the last .APK with nav, and went back.

    • CoreRooted

      Click on the search in maps and scroll down. Your history is there. Or, swipe to the right and go to settings>maps history.

  • Daniel

    Not that this is a deal breaker, but am I the only one who has kept the old Maps/Nav app because it is WAY better, can jump into navigation with a single click instead of like 4, and can display alternative routes WHILE STILL NAVIGATING without exiting?

    • CoreRooted

      I can get to navigation with no clicks. Google Now>speak or type “navigate to [address,POI,contact,etc]”>it starts navigating.

      The alternative routes->Click on back in navigation, then the top bar (From:… To:…). Alternatives drop down. To change a route, just click the route and hit start again. It is an extra click, but it does work.

  • ToddAwesome

    Terrible. Terrible update.

  • Steven Elliott

    I don’t mind ads. I do mind the crappy update the sent out. I can’t use it. I had to uninstall the update. The reviews it’s getting are the worst I’ve ever seen for Maps.

  • Waze or bust

  • interstellarmind

    this is all great – but when will they bring back the lab features that I grew to depend upon! (large font for streets, measuring)

    • Higher_Ground

      Never, it’s there way of toying with us. I just hate the fact that it went from having those as options if you wanted them, to no options at all.

  • D.B.Evans

    For some unknown reason, Google never got around to pushing the new Maps update out to my phone until this evening. After seeing this story; I’m guessing they only got around to it now because they realized I wouldn’t be seeing their new ads without the update.

  • crazed_z06


  • emoney

    for some reason GMaps has removed my home and work presets and won’t let me add new ones. It also doesn’t auto-fill places I’ve been recently, which makes navigation a pain. Does anyone know a way to fix either of these issues?

    • KleenDroid

      No. Google maps is ruined.

    • Dave858

      Uninstall all updates. The actual maps are still the same and Nav is like it always has been.

    • CoreRooted

      Click in the search box in maps and scroll down. Your history is there (as long as Location History is enabled in Maps settings).

  • nina

    i’m on v.7.0.2 for JB/4.1 and don’t have ads popping up. and i almost always use maps to search for businesses. is this ‘update’ already rolling out/updated on our devices?

  • Liderc

    They have killed Google maps/nav. And this isn’t even why. The last update that made them one app has made the navigation sh*t. In my 2 years of using it on my Nexus I’ve never once had a problem with it, now it makes me enter my location every time I go to it, instead of always having my current location set, and it tells me a place is on the left side of the road if it’s on the right.

    Has happened half a dozen times since I updated it and it’s honestly pissing me off. Google’s Nav was one of the best features on my phone and now it’s nearly unusable.

    • Shaggy723

      Stupid amazing free software, Gawd! Just kidding. But seriously, you do have some valid points, but again, Google has saved everyone from having to pay for extra nav devices with their superior software that they provide for a charge of $0.00. Just like they removed the home page and app drawer stutter/lag with the 4.3 update, I have faith that they will fix the current bugs with maps in an upcoming update. It’s all good.

      • CoreRooted

        You nailed it SPOT ON! It’s a FREE app and service that people are complaining about.

        • skzion

          Fan bois are always tiresome.

          • CoreRooted

            And so are trolls.

    • Dave858

      Completely agree. I tried the map update for a very short time before I uninstalled all updates. The new Maps looked promising, but navigation was FUBAR. Aside from problems you mentioned, it also would restart if the screen was turned off. I’m due for an upgrade soon, not sure I’ll be able to revert to an earlier version at that point and I’m worried.

  • Matthew DiGiacomo

    Gnex getting some love!

  • Travss

    All you have to do is uncheck auto update in playstore then go to google maps and erase all updates or uninstall maps then reinstall and you will have the older maps with nav app

    • Liderc

      It auto updates it, even if you uncheck auto updates.

      • nina

        you can also unlink the apk from the play store in tibu- and the updates shouldn’t go through.

        • Liderc

          Should we really have to do this to have a working Nav app that has been toted as the best in the world?

          • nina

            no, but that’s what development gives us; the opportunity to do so in cases like this-

        • skzion

          What is tibu, by the way?

          • Higher_Ground

            Titanium Backup

          • skzion


          • nina

            titanium backup.

          • skzion


      • skzion

        It’s not doing this on my phone. I never ever allow autoupdate, and it’s never done it.

      • Dave858

        There’s a setting in the Play store for auto-updating. Turn it off.

  • cknight91

    I don’t care if you have ads, just fix the maps app since the newest update Google. Everything takes more clicks to get to now…it’s ridiculous.

    • Liderc

      I’m so glad people are saying this, I’ve been saying it since the update as the new app is fking terrible. I wish there was a way we could tell Google how big they messed up when they updated the app. It’s literally made it useless to me. Having to enter my location in every time I open the app? Wtf? In my two years of using it I’ve never once had to do that, it always auto found my location and set it as the start point. The other day I set a destination, and it tells me to take a right and the store is on the right, i look left and the store is on the left. It’s totally bogus now.

      • Dillon Brown

        I haven’t had any of your problems with navigation. For me it always navigates from current location, and I haven’t noticed any problems with street locations. Is there a possible settings issue you may have made by accident?

        • Liderc

          I haven’t touched my settings in 2 years. From opening the box it’s worked perfect. Then it updated about two weeks ago I believe, merging Google Maps and Nav app into one app, and now it works terribly.

        • Dave858

          It must be that you haven’t installed the newest update yet. They’ve eliminated multiple important features and it’s unusable for me at least. Hell, I don’t think you can even get alternative routes while navigating any longer.

          • Higher_Ground

            You can from directions… but if you want to change routes after you’ve already started navigation you have to back out to the directions page again. Stupid for them to remove the option to change from within navigation, even if it’s somewhat redundant since you can choose the route directly form the directions page now.

        • Cody Revels

          Honestly, same here. It always finds me, knows where im trying to get to, even if I enter a generic address like 317 E magnolia, it finds the closest one (And the right one).
          It looks great and works just fine for me. By the way I live in a tiny ass town with lots of backroads and junk and it knows all of them. Seems fine lol.

      • ScoobySnack

        Shake to give feedback!

      • BigWormBigPerm

        I use the Traffic view everyday to get to work and the update screwed it up …all you have to do is uninstall the update

    • Raven

      I agree. Thankfully I read some of the comments and tried it out on my tablet before I updated my phone. The new version 7 while “cleaner” looking is now so completely gimped to me that I refuse to update. From little things like removing the easy to use zoom buttons and instant launching of navigation from the searches to major things like removing My Places and My Maps which I depend on and Latitude which my family used to keep track of each other. Reading the latest reviews for the app is just downright embarrassing for Google. They really need to get their act together and add some of the functionality back.

      For now I have been trying out Waze to see if I can live with it, but currently my rating is:
      Maps 6 > Waze > Maps 7

      • CoreRooted

        I agree on the zoom buttons (but the one finger zoom is working here). However, instant launching of navigation is in gNow. All you have to do is tell gNow to “navigate to [item]”. It finds the [item] and starts navigating within 5 seconds.

        Regarding My Places. Maps now keeps a complete SEARCHABLE history of everything you have either searched for and/or starred. Simply click in the search box and scroll down and it’s all there.

        Latitude got rolled into G+.

        • sirmeili

          The location service in G+ is NOT latitude. It is it’s half baked gimped brother. You can’t see the last time the location was updated, you can’t navigate to that person by just clicking on them… it’s more than useless now.

          • CoreRooted

            See my comment above about Latitude and why it changed.

          • sirmeili

            I still find it unacceptable to release a replacement that is far less functional than the item it is replacing. I found fault with Apple when they did it with Apple Maps, and I find fault with Google doing it with Latitude. The fact is, Latitude was opt in. those people complaining of battery issues could have easily just turned the feature off, or Google could have made it more apparent to the users what was using the battery (which they do in the battery stats screen).

            To me is seems that Google’s most recent path is to remove functionality from apps with promises of getting them back later. If they can’t replace the functionality that is in place now, then hold off on the updates until you can.

          • CoreRooted

            I agree with you. I’ve said many times I don’t like the changes, but again, this is a free service we are talking about. They (Google, Apple, Microsoft, anyone) can do whatever they want with their products. If we were paying for Latitude and/or Maps, then I would be right there with a pitchfork and torch. Does this hurt their credibility? Yup. Totally.

          • sirmeili

            I’ll have to disagree with you on the “free” thing. Google uses my information as payment for their services and they make a pretty penny off it as well (browser habits, search habits, etc). Just because I don’t pay money for something doesn’t mean it’s free. There is very few things in life that are truly free.

            I mean, I guess I could just stop using all google services, but I probably won’t. Overall, I do like them, I just don’t like when they do things like this.

          • CoreRooted

            Your last statement sums it up nicely. We could all stop using Google’s services and voice our disapproval with our usage (or lack thereof), but 99% of us won’t (myself included).

            In terms of free versus non-free. You’re correct. We do pay them with information. But, is that enough to consider it a paid product?

            Look at how many times Facebook has angered it’s user-base with their changes. Yet, they continue to accumulate users in the millions every month. People complain, say they are quitting FB, etc etc etc… Then a month or two later they adapt their usage patterns to include the changes into their routine.

          • skzion

            Speaking of payment, how much does Google pay you?

          • CoreRooted

            Awwww. That’s cute. Go play somewhere else little troll.

          • skzion

            Maybe not quite yet, little Google employee. I expect I’ve been here way longer than you. An app doesn’t get trashed here the way Maps has been trashed for no good reason.

            And, Google Play reviews–presumably less geeky in general –also trash this change.

            At first I thought you were just a fan boi, but then I saw the light.

            Nice try.

        • Raven

          Nothing beats tapping a simple plus or minus for zooming in and out while you are driving. Google Now is great, but from within maps after you tap on a search result or a Starred place on the map I could instantly hit the Navigate Arrow and I would be off, now it seems to take at least 3 taps and that’s if you can even figure out where to tap. The history is nice if you want to search for something, but again, not nearly as easy as just tapping on a Star and the the Navigate arrow while you are driving.

          My Maps is a big one for me. I create maps by driving routes with My Tracks and then store them in Google Maps or create them from the Maps interface. Then I can bring them up in Maps 6 on my phone and redrive the routes. Some of my maps have a dozen or more stops on them, but I don’t drive them regularly enough to have them all memorized.

          I know they claimed to have rolled Latitude into G+, and I am fine with that if they want to use G+ and get rid of the name, but it doesn’t have near the functionality. The locations for people always seem to be way out of date and you cannot click on a person and Navigate to them like you could with Latitude.

          • Raven

            That got long so I decided to add this on separate.
            Here is a comparison of how I generally use Maps for place I have already Starred in advance:
            Open Maps 6. Zoom out a little if needed. Tap on Star of place I want to go. Tap Navigate arrow.

            Open Maps 7. Zoom out a little if needed. Tap on Star of place I want to go. Tap car time estimate. Tap time estimate on the next screen (this took me a while to figure out because it doesn’t even look like a place to click). Then, finally tap Start.

            If I am searching for a new place it is worse too. Example, I want search for and drive to a WalMart in a new area. There are 3, but I want to go to one on the North side even though it is farther away than the one on the South side.

            Open Maps 6. Type or say Walmart. Maps zooms out to include the 3 matches. Tap on the one you want. Tap Navigate arrow.

            Open Maps 7. Type or say Walmart. Maps shows only the closest one. Click on Results List. Opens to a whole new screen without a map. Try to guess which one is the one you want by the mileage estimate. If you got the right one, tap on the small time estimate. Tap on the bigger time estimate on the next screen. Then, finally tap Start.

          • CoreRooted

            You’re absolutely correct about the taps when you are using it that way. I can’t really say why they got rid of the My Maps functionality but I have a feeling it has to do with rumors that Google may be looking at a paid version of Maps. If those rumors are true, then the features like My Maps (basically My anything) will be made available in that product line. Much like the APIs that have gone to paid models over the years. Think of it like this; You and 100 other people create 100 custom maps and store those online. How much space and traffic do you think that uses on Google’s infrastructure? We’re talking petabytes of data and traffic that they have absorbed the cost of for years now. Did everyone really think that the free ride would last forever? If you want a product that you can complain about, buy a true navigation app that has a responsibility to you as a paid customer.

            Regarding Latitude; Latitude’s location services was one of the biggest complaints people had with Android and battery usage. It’s one of those “can’t please all the people all of the time” things. Latitude reporting in the background was a large battery drain, especially on lower end devices. So, they rolled it all into Google Play Services with less frequent updates. I know a couple of guys on the G+ team and there are changes to how location reporting and G+ work together. There will be improvements, but we probably see them for a minimum of 3 to 6 months.

  • raddacle

    Aren’t we nearing the end of 2013, why are we still using the Galaxy Nexus as a model phone?

    • calum wilper

      i was wondering that! normally stuff from google you see the nexus 4 but i was surprised to see the old galaxy nexus kicking it around in this one

    • David Gray

      I’ll have to admit, the galaxy nexus is one of the best smart phones in smart phone history!!!!

      • T4rd

        The GSM one maybe. The Verizon Gnex had pretty bad reception and battery life for me. Otherwise it was spectacular. I upgraded to a Note 2 after a year and it is a significant improvement in every aspect.

        • Tyler Durden

          it’s starting to die on me. Trying to get 4.3 but waiting for CM 10.2

        • Shaggy723

          You are absolutely right. After owning both, the GSM gnex is completely superior.

    • ToddAwesome

      The phone itself is still good. The battery and reception, yeah, god awful. If I could walk around constantly plugged into a power supply I think I’d keep this phone another year, true story.

  • Gnex

    That’s it, I’m using VZ Navigator.

    Said no one ever

    • calum wilper

      that’s it i’m using apple maps. and bing.

      • Tyler

        So you upgraded to iOS 7 i see.

        • calum wilper

          i don’t think that word means what you think it means

          • michael arazan

            Have Fun with apple maps, it was nice knowing you

          • calum wilper

            what do you mean? i asked for directions to drive off of that cliff! Apple maps is perfect! shut up man!!!

      • Bionic_Pags

        Is this Ron hiding behind an alias?!

        • calum wilper

          IOS FOREVER!!!! i mean…. ANDROID! LOVE ANDROID! IT’S THE BEST! except for all the things that make it not ios…. but other than that it’s awesome!!

    • victorvics

      google has been doing this for years and now you feel to switch. this is just updated ads.your comments/you sounds stupid

      • calum wilper

        this guy missed it…

        • Gnex

          Haha the attention span is strong with this one.

          • calum wilper

            i mean i would say tldr…. but not really? ya know?

      • Gnex

        I don’t think you read the entire comment..

      • Christopher Bement


        • jboogie1289

          There it is!!!!!!

      • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

        here is a little instructional video for you. hope it helps you out in the future. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBztjzDr0fM

      • jose

        Somebody forgot how to internet.

    • Tyler Durden

      But but it’s only $10 a month!

      • Gnex

        WHAT A STEAL!

        • Tyler Durden

          better than paying the baby mama!

          • Munchma Quchi

            The trolls must be sleeping because you have no downvotes. LOL

          • Tyler Durden

            don’t awaken them!

          • Tyler Durden

            It’s actually sad that people make fake accounts to down vote. Shows how much they hate their lives.

          • jose

            They’re not fake accounts. There really are that many people that think you’re a douchenozzle.

          • Munchma Quchi

            I seriously doubt people would make fake accounts just to downvote.

            Edit: I’m a dumbass. This reply was meant for Tyler.

          • Tyler Durden

            They have no sense of humor. That’s okay.

          • Munchma Quchi

            LOL. The trolls are no longer sleeping.

      • michael arazan

        And knowing Verizon they’ll charge you $10 a month to use it and put in ads to generate more money, and the ads won’t have any relevancy to where you are and what you are searching for.

    • miswillie

      ➡➡➡upto I saw the draft of $6236, I accept
      that…my… brother actualie erning money in there spare time from there
      computar.. there moms best frend haz done this for only 12 months and just
      now repayed the loans on there mini mansion and got Citroën 2CV. read more
      at, w­w­w.b­a­r­2­8.c­o­m

      • You need to go back to 1st grade English class.

        • zurginator

          Who would actually trust a “bar28.com” anyways? I mean really?

  • muffnman

    I tried to give new maps a chance. Last straw right here. I’m going hunting for the last maps apk pre-redesign.

    • tyguy829

      Did the same thing a week ago. It’s 6.14.4 and I just backed it up to titanium

      Edit: Just to clarify, I have no problem with the ads. It’s the lack of features that made me switch back.

      • Adam Elghor

        And the fact that once you close the screen during navigation cant get back to it without restarting the navigation

        • blackjaguar25

          I literally get back into navigation like that on a daily basis.

        • Evan Knofsky

          I’ve never had an issue popping into other apps then back to my current navigation without any issues on the new maps.

      • muffnman

        I can’t find 6.14.4, only 6.14.3 – do you have a copy you could share? Or a Titanium backup file?

        • David Verba

          Can you tell me where you found 6.14.3 ??

          • muffnman

            Titanium backup. ^_^

    • Liderc

      No kidding, the latest update DESTROYED Google Nav. I can’t believe it, I’m still so pissed I don’t even know what to do. I used to tell people how great it was, that no other nav even came close and now I look like an idiot because it’s f*cking terrible.

  • calum wilper

    welll…. on the upside maybe this means they’ll make so much revenue on ads that they can make the next nexus even cheaper!

  • Nick

    Well that escalated slowly.