By Alexandra Burlacu | Jul 11, 2013 05:31 AM EDT
A new version of Google Maps for Android is now available, bringing a redesigned user interface, better navigation and a few tricks its iOS counterpart lacks.
The new app includes a slew of new features Google first mentioned back in May and mirrors the design of the browser-based Google Maps. In other words, the overall look sports fewer buttons, clearer fonts and tighter menus.
"The new Google Maps for mobile builds on the design we released for iPhone last December and improves on it with a few useful search and navigation features. And it's the first dedicated app for Android tablets and iPads," Google announced in a blog post on Wednesday, July 10. "We're also retiring Latitude and are making some changes to offline and My Maps."
Those familiar with the Google Maps app that launched back in December for iOS should find the new Android interface quite similar. The core interface is nearly identical for both platforms now and the menus which, on Android, used to drop down, now slide out from a lateral drawer.
Despite the similar interface, however, the new Google Maps for Android does sport a few tricks that are yet to reach its iOS counterpart.
As previously mentioned, these features are not yet available on the iOS version of the app, but that shouldn't be for long. Google says that a new Google Maps version will roll out soon for iPhones and iPads as well. For now, the app is gradually rolling out globally in Google Play and will reach the App Store soon.
"It's a new mapping experience that makes exploring the world and getting to the places that matter to you a lot faster and easier," Google further touts in its blog post announcement.
The new version of Google Maps for Android aims to facilitate exploring, provide enhanced navigation, cater to tablet users with the new tablet-optimized interface, and make it easier for users to find locations such as bars and restaurants to suit their tastes.
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