By Vamien McKalin | May 16, 2013 11:39 AM EDT
Google I/O 2013 has kicked off pretty successfully, and so far, things seem to be going the way the company had intended. At the conference, Google announced an all-new Maps user interface along with massive changes to Google+.
The next Google Maps release for the desktop, Android and iOS, will take a more personalized approach to navigation. We've realized this is the theme Google has focused on right throughout its multiple presentations. The mobile version of the new Google Maps brings to the table a rating system and offers from merchants. Things got interesting when the search giant demoed the Experience feature for tablet devices, which allows any user to take a look inside a business establishment, along with making offers related to that particular business.
When it comes to the desktop, the main new feature is called "immersive imagery." Street View and Google Earth are now more tightly integrated into Google Maps, which makes for a seamless experience. The new Google Maps can also analyze the places you have traveled, highlights routes and offer suggestions based on the places you or your friends of visited.
For those who are interested, there is also the option to view underwater scenery and outer space. You can't yet give the new maps a spin, however, the option is there to sign up for an invitation, the link is below this article.
New Google Hangouts is being prepped for all Google+ users, and is based on Google's unified chat platform, Babel. The new messaging platform puts Android, iOS, Chrome and Gmail on the same page for the very first time, and the focus is mainly on the conversation and the user interface. With the new messaging platform, notifications are more consistent across devices, along with shared images and emoticons that were never apart of Google Talk.
Texts are now watermarked to make it easier for everyone to know who is reading or typing. Furthermore, there is also a new feature called Live Group Video.
Everything is available now, so hit up your respective app stores on mobile, and visit the Google+ page for those on the desktop.
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