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Google Maps Updated With Faster Navigation, Improved Hotel Search, Tips and Tricks Menu

google maps update

A new Google Maps update popped up earlier this week through Google Play, but since staged rollouts start in small waves before arriving on everyone’s handsets, we’re now just seeing the rollout increase. If you haven’t yet updated, there is a pretty good chance that the update is awaiting your approval. 

In the update, we’re seeing faster navigation, that also has route previews and better traffic overviews. There are improved hotel search results with sponsored rate and booking links (read: advertisements). And Google even included a “Tips and Tricks” menu that can be accessed through the slideout navigation, though it’s nothing more than a redirect to a Maps support page.

What’s new:

– Faster access to navigation, complete with route and traffic overview
– Improved hotel search results with sponsored rates and booking links
– Tips and Tricks available in the side menu
– Bug fixes

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    i have downloaded some gps better than this like http://www.vivetuandroid.com/2013/09/navegacion-gps-y-mapas-apk-gps.html, i think this app will be leave in past :/

  • ravenofdoom

    I want my damn measuring tape tool…it takes way to long for me to figure out the distance between two points on the new maps app, and there’s no way to figure out a path with multiple points (e.g. when determining a hike or complex walking path).

    I wish there was a way to side-load or concurrently install the old maps app alongside the new… the new maps app has lots of perks for live traffic times and re-routing, but I used to use the measuring tape tool at leas 2-3 times per week. There are 3rd party apps to do this, but they don’t integrate with starred items, my places, etc.

  • carpe

    Until free roaming navigation comes back, i’ll stick with the previous version. This new version is the first time I’ve been super dissapointed. I want to open Navigation, select Map, and drive. No destination, have it follow me, simple as that.

  • Redsun

    And they restored Latitude? No? then who cares.

  • Higher_Ground

    Does anyone know if there’s a way to measure distance in the Maps app? Or what about the Google Earth app? I know you have to enable it under Labs in the normal browser, but that doesn’t seem to be an option for mobile.

  • cknight91

    So does this maps update make it usable? I’m still on the old school maps and holding off on upgrading as long as I can.

  • Earl Vincent Manguiat

    still does not save most recent destinations

  • bogy25

    I really miss the Navigation App – the blue Star trek looking symbol – I would show it to iphone users with pride – now I avoid it because I can;t seem to find a simple way to access navigation and enter a route.

  • muzz

    Miss the good map/ navigation,Do Not like this recent one,actually went with another app couldn’t take Google anymore!

  • marcus russell

    For those who complain about the extra steps ask google to navigate to it and the only pushing you do is on the mic on the search bar.

  • Alex

    It happens, just like ESPN, The Weather Channel, Tango, you gotta keep a backup copy of your favorite apps because the job of an app developer is just that, a job, and breaking things then having to fix them is the ultimate way to assure job security!! I will NEVER update these 4 apps until major revisions happen.

  • One thing is for sure. Bitches always find something to bitch about.

  • yummy

    yummy sick of maps, no like maps past

    yummy so sick of google the warthog

    yummy sickest of yummy most of all

    mmmmm donuts

  • Roger W Turner

    Just give me the old maps back. Not just easier navigation but all the other features I made so much use of.

  • Tim242

    For those wanting a Navigation icon again, set an activity shortcut. See below.

    • matt_helm

      Why, I already had it. Why would you remove something, and then have a way to MANUALLY add it back. Why because they are a bunch of ex-Windows 8 programmers that were fired because of how bad Windows 8 is, and then Google tired them to screw up the map app.

      • matt_helmizadouche

        u r a d o u c h e b a g ! !

    • hatenewgooglemaps

      I don’t think you people “get it”.

      I got an Android so I would not have to worry about crap like this. I have always found iTunes and iPhone and AppleTV insanely hard to use and awfully engineered from a GUI perspective. And I used to be a big apple fan and still think my MacBook Pro with OS X Snow Leopard is the best OS and laptop around for my uses.

      This update sucks. Old Nav was easier and quicker to use, and had more features.

      Not sure how you can defend this mistake by Google. I like many of their products but geez you all look like iPhone apologizers. Every company makes mistakes. THis is one of them. The majority of casual users (read, most users generally) do not like this. If Google doesn’t reinstate the old interface, they are arrogant and dumb just like MS with Windows 8.1 slap in the face non’Start’ menu.

      Maps is my most used app, period. I am so glad I never let it autoupdate. Yikes. Can’t think of a worse app to make hard to use than one you look at while DRIVING. (sure you shouldn’t but let’s be honest you do)

      • Tim242

        Dude, it doesn’t get any easier than speaking the words “Navigate to______.” You just like to complain.

        • hatenewgooglemaps

          This makes me sad. We want our blue button and its functinoality back. If we have to hack to get old features that’s frustrating. Why the hate for this sub-group of Android users, which is rather large I imagine? This also makes me think of how much crap people get when they request sliders or post about wanting a good slider, and a bunch of people inevitably chime in with “you are so dumb, sliders are outdated and from the 1990s” or something equally useless. Not ALL updates are good! And Android is for options, and for including as many users as possible. that is why we like it! Let’s all peace out and hopefully Google adds the old features back as an option.

          • Tim242

            Navigation used to be a separate app. It is now part of Maps. That’s why there is no separate icon for it. They are not going to change that. The method I posted just sets an activity shortcut that takes you directly to the Nav portion of Maps. If that is too much for you, speak your destination…it could not be easier.

  • Steve B

    Weak sauce.

  • coip
  • Steve

    had to scour the interwebs for version 6 so I and my wife could uninstall this crap. New maps app sucks.

  • De Nguyen

    Map has been change to profit…I mean…protect the share holders.
    It’s all about ads and who can shove them down your throat the most, so just have to live with it or try something else.

  • Vermin_Cain

    Reading the comments here…One thing is for sure. Bitches always find something to bitch about.

    • sk3litor

      And bitches always hide behind the anonymity of the internet. Go play somewhere else

      • Vermin_Cain

        Like I said, Bitches always find something to bitch about…Just like you’re doing now.

        • sk3litor

          Apparently you dont get the concept of the comments section. And watch your mouth little boy. When you learn to speak like a grown up you can sit at the adults table.

          • Vermin_Cain

            Stop bitching, you little bitch!!! And stop making threat, you keyboard tough guy.

  • david

    they never leave well enough alone
    The old version was much better
    If they ever give back straight up navigation I hope someone lets me know because I have switched to scout if you like straight up navigation try scout

    • KleenDroid

      Or you can simply install the older version you liked and turn off automatic updates.

      • sk3litor

        I did this but can you tell me how ro turn off automatic updates. Cant find it anywhere. Is it the disable button where “uninstall updates” was?

        • terrorist96

          Tap menu, uncheck “auto-update”

          • sk3litor

            Yup thanks guys. Just figured it out:)

        • LionStone

          Go to Play Store, go to My apps /Installed apps, select an app, uncheck Automatic updates box under the title of the app.

        • KleenDroid

          Or go into the app store, click menu and choose settings, then click on auto update apps and switch it to do not auto update.

    • Tim242

      You can set an activity shortcut to Navigation. It cuts out a few steps.

  • Ron Perlman’s Jaw

    I really wish that they’d return the feature that would allow you to look ahead on the navigation route to see where and how long the potential traffic slowdowns are. It makes adjusting your route much easier.

    • jeesung

      “Route Preview” will do this, but I liked the old Traffic Layer implementation better.

      • Ron Perlman’s Jaw

        As with all of the other “improvements”, it’s more clicks than it originally was.

  • jaydub110

    How do you uninstall & go back to the previous version ? Don’t like it.

    • KleenDroid


      Search for version 6.14.4 and install. Turn off automatic updates in Google Play so it doesn’t update you right back.

      Keep a copy of the old version in case you need it again.

  • MD

    Did they reinstate the “My Maps” function?

    • jeesung

      not that i can find

  • Peter Mansour

    still no scale buttons and i hate that when you click on the map it dosnt show the turn of the street name

  • steveliv

    let me know when they add the simple navigation program. it simply takes too many steps and too much concentration to start navigation. let me know when they bring back the simple car UI separate navigation app. i should be able to start navigation, press the button and speak my destination. i have uninstalled all updates on my GNEX, and it’s too bad that the new version of gmaps is baked into 4.3 so that you can’t easily use the older version of maps.

    • miri

      1.Swipe up
      2. say “Google, navigate to [destination]”

      • Sporttster

        Swipe what up where? I, too, have uninstalled that last update to get the Nav icon back and like it that way. Much easier to just click the Nav icon and either type or say where I want to go, have it give me choices on route when I want it, be able to click on the restaurant layer to show restaurants, or gas stations, and be able to see red on the map layer for delays. Too many steps around to get what I wanted done on that new setup….

        • j

          He’s saying.. launch Google Voice search and speak your destination.. can’t get any easier than that.. (swipe up launches google now on phones with software buttons)

        • Tim242

          Activity shortcut for Navigation, problem solved.

    • KleenDroid

      Google Maps has been destroyed. Maybe they moved over some Motorola employees who are screwing things up.

      I simply got rid of it and installed version 6.14.4 and always keep a copy as a backup. Don’t forget to turn off automatic updates if you do this.

      • sk3litor

        So they could put it in the app store as one app

      • LionStone

        Just did the same thing. Funny, the new version is supposed to be faster but it wouldn’t zero in on my location running a test right now for a few min utes…uninstalled, reinstalled 6.14.4 and it zeroed in within seconds!

    • Tim242

      If you are running a 3rd party launcher, set an activity shortcut to Navigation. It cuts out several steps.

  • Map

    Good to hear there is an update.The check box is just to give permission to use it,

  • I wonder How about offline navigation/storing maps?

    • alex drum

      put map you want to save on your screen and type “ok maps” in the search bar. been like that since 2.0

      • its not nearly the same functionality as before.
        you have no idea of the previously saved area. and it limits you to a MUCH smaller area. you cant make multiple saves to stitch them together.
        idk why Google even added this back in since its nearly useless.

    • Spider210

      You can download the map for offline use, however to start navigation in offline you need a data connection therefore offline maps is kind of useless for most.

    • j

      hit the search bar in maps, scroll down, select make this map area available offline

    • Steve B

      There is no offline navigation unfortunately. Since every other navigation app out there had this function, one can hope that Google will add this feature soon.

  • joyshow

    So now maps needs to read your contacts…
    Is this my corp. contact list, or just my google contact list?

  • David Brauss

    Some of those purrty windows don’t go away without unselecting and obstruct the view of the actual map. This is a big deal for people on WiFi only devices.

  • Tom Z

    Maybe faster than previous version 7, but still not faster than Version 6. I’m staying on 6.xxx on my main phone. I have 7 on my Nexus 7 to try it out and will upgrade my phone when I think it’s ready.

    • TechJunkie

      I’m doing the same thing with my Nexus 4 & 10. I really like the new version, but the old version is still superior in my and many others minds.

  • Qwerty

    Good to hear there is an update. This version of maps has been somewhat disappointing for me. Navigating the map is very choppy and if I’m looking for the nearest store of a particular chain, for some reason it isn’t giving me the closest option.

    • LionStone

      This situation worked for me yesterday perfectly…?

      • Qwerty

        Didn’t for me unfortunately. I sent me to a market further away than the one closest to me. Now I’m double checking to make sure whatever it is I’m looking for is in fact the one nearest to me.

        • LionStone

          Actually thinking it over, I did it from Google search and not through Maps. I was cruising, searched “Best Buy” and it came up with the nearest one to where I was, then hit ‘directions’.

          I tried using the newest version of Maps and its ok, but I really do like the old Maps (6.14.4) better, so as I mentioned, uninstalled new one and loaded up the older one.

          • Qwerty

            There’s an idea I haven’t tried. I’ll try it through Google Search next time.

            I’m also strongly considering switching back to an older version since it worked much better for me. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it Google!

  • FelisLachesis

    “there is a pretty good chance that the update is awaiting your approval.”

    Is there anyway to tell Google Play that I disapprove of this update, and don’t want to see it?

  • n11

    What I would REALLY love for google to do, is automatically enable the GPS if I’m looking for directions somewhere.
    I don’t want my GPS on all the time, but it would be nice if it auto-enables during my routine so I don’t have to go into that extra menu, hit the checkmark box, then go back to maps, its such a simple thing to fix!

    • Bryan

      Why don’t you just leave GPS on all of the time? It only turns on when it’s needed. I leave GPS on all of the time on my phone and it only gets used when you go into an app that needs it.

      • sc0rch3d

        does that include being inside b/c i can’t do that without looking for a charger midway thru the day

      • alex drum

        many apps like facebook like to use gps, there are tons if you want you can go and look at app permissions. MANY apps use it in background and this definitely does drain battery, with gps on i get at least an hour less batter life a day.

      • Sporttster

        Eats battery…no tanx….

        • Steve B

          It’s not noticeable.

        • Tim242

          It only uses battery when active. When not in use, it uses none.

    • miri

      That’s exactly what it does. The check box is just to give permission to use it.

      • alex drum

        the checkbox says any app can use it, not “just let maps use it when i am inside the app, and no background communication” if you find a checkbox that says that sign me up.

    • j

      There are plenty of apps than can do that. Tasker for starters.

    • LionStone

      Yea I just want the box that says, “Do not ask again”! So when I hit GPS in Power Control, it goes without another permission pop up.

  • n11

    How about offline navigation/storing maps?
    Downloading the update now.

    • alex drum

      put map you want to save on your screen and type “ok maps” in the search bar. been like that since 2.0

  • Steve M

    If they didn’t put navigation with no endpoint back, no care.

  • Neil Ross Goco

    I’ve still never updated to Google Maps 6.

  • Brian Wolfman

    I hope they fixed the little arrow target that always points off to the side as it moves instead of forward.

    • Nick

      On top right of the screen when its navigating is a little compass icon, hit that and you should be fine 🙂

      • Brian Wolfman

        That’s just to orientate the screen. When I’m driving, the arrow on the little icon is actually pointing off to the side when it moves forward. Was on my gnex and my g2 now too

        • Nick

          Anyway to get a pic of what you’re talking about and post it on this comment?

          • T4rd

            I’ve seen it a few times too. You know the blue arrow that represents you as you’re navigating and how it normally points in the direction you’re traveling? Sometimes it points off to the side as you’re moving forwards, so as the arrow moves forwards, it’s pointing off to the side.

            Not sure how I can explain it better than that.

          • jeesung

            Just needs a little Nav Viagra and it should be fine.

          • Nick

            All I know is when I hit that little button on the right it always follows like its going straight up on the road you’re going on. If I hit it again it does travel to the side like you were talking about. You also have to make sure you hit the button on the bottom left (the arrow) and that will put it directly on your position. I really wish I could see this in action so I could help more if possible. Hopefully you figure it out soon man :-).

        • sk3litor

          Because thats the way your phone is pointing. Its so stupid that they did this. Every thing about these new updates is jacked. And all to make it so they could put it in the app store as one app instead of maps AND navigatiin.considering youll be in a car using it, it should be the easiest and most intuitive app ever made.soley for safety reasons. Nothing like looking for a hidden feature while youre driving in traffic at night. Good job google.

          • Brian Wolfman

            Oh my dear lord. As Im moving along, if I rotate my phone the arrow changes. This is the dumbest thing.

    • James Friedman

      Mine just starts drifting around the screen while I’m not even moving….I hate this new crap! They really screwed their perfect app up with the latest updates.

      • ReturnOfTheMack

        I haven’t run into that issue fortunately. Nice avatar dude, HTTR.

      • master94

        I have the same problem. Google really seems to be messing up lately with updates. Hopefully it doesn’t become a trend. I love Google maps.

      • Brian Wolfman


  • Ray Gray

    About time since the 5.0 update it’s a 5 step process to navigate anywhere

    • Joseph A. Yager

      I agree, I like some of the updates, but just give me the straight-up navigation app back.

      • M0nk

        I also hates that there is no way to just show the nav view if you do not tell where you want to go. In preevious versions it was available just opening the app. I like to drive and see the streets that are next when I know were im going without entering any destination. The default map view cant display your direction up, it just use the orientation sensor that is crap inside a car

    • Tim242

      Set activity shortcut, or use Google Now.

      • matt_helm

        Why should I have to do this, when they removed it. They should have NEVER removed it. My guess is, Google hired a bunch of Windows 8 programmers, as that about the way the new version works!

        • Tim242

          You own an Android phone. You do things constantly to customize it. You can set a simple shortcut that cuts out several steps for navigation. Do it, or don’t. But if you choose not to, stop bi*ching about it.

          • matt_helm

            So buying an Android phone, I loose my 1st amendment rights?

          • Tim242

            I’msure you meant lose. Only an iidiot complains about something he can easily fix.

          • matt_helm

            I’m sure you meant idiot, but no, only an idiot would remove something during an install that would then be added back in as an option. Kind of like who ever wrote the new code for the 7.x version of Google Maps.

          • Tim242

            You seem to be a bit confused. Navigation and Maps used to be two seperate apps, that’s why there were 2 icons. They have been combined. Making a shortcut to Navigation does not take you to a separate app, it just takes you past a few steps in Maps. Using activities to make shortcuts in something made possible by 3rd party launchers, so it isn’t an option from Google.

          • Joseph A. Yager

            Well, I appreciated the tip, anyway. Thanks!

          • Private Schooled

            Matt, the first amendment only applies in situations between the government and citizens, not between commenters on a website.

          • Tom J

            I guess slow matt did not like being schooled on the Constitution so he gave the thumbs down. LOL. Ignoramus.

          • matt_helm

            If he knew what he was talking about, I’d worry.

          • matt_helm

            This is incorrect.

          • Kelly

            Good comeback, dummy. Low information citizens like you, matt, are a politicians dream.

          • Dorian Brooks

            You’re free to say what you want, but that also means you have to accept the consequences of those words. Such as Tim pointing out a work around, or his 1st Amendment write to say, “….stop b*tching….”

          • matt_helm

            I did, and it looks like all of Tim’s 5 year old friends had to come help him. 😉

          • Dre Jones

            Stupid and stubborn is no way to go through life, Matty. Worse case you should just focus on one if you can’t drop both. Just trying to help out. I dont want you to end up on the welfare roles, with the other lazy, morons. Good luck. Really.

          • matt_helm

            A workaround is a bypass of a recognized problem in a system.

            I didn’t even tell Tim he was wrong, just there was no excuse for whoever wrote the bad code in the upgrade.

            Also, if you read most of the messages on this list, you’ll also notice that most people are fixing the issue by rolling back to the old version, because it isn’t a POS.

            I’ve fired people for better code than this version, and last time I checked, they are still flipping burgers.

      • Ray Gray

        That really doesn’t work for how I use maps I just need it to take less clicks to navigate somewhere. Before the update I could search for a place then once I found that place click the navigation arrow right next to it. Now it’s at least 3 more steps.

    • Raven

      This looks like another step forward back to where Maps 6 was, but I have since reverted back to Maps 6.14.4 because it appears that Maps 7 is
      still missing one of the most important features to me and that is
      access to My Maps. I use My Tracks to save routes and then load them
      into Maps 6 to redrive those routes. I realize it wasn’t the most used
      feature, but to those that use it, it is very important.