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Google Improves Maps With New Local Search Features, New Material Design, And More

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Google Improves Maps With New Local Search Features, New Material Design, And More
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With the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google has been redesigning its apps with a focus on material design and Maps is the latest to get the redesign treatment.

But the new version of the Google Maps app, coming to both iPhone and Android over the next few days, comes with more than just a new look at feel. It has been designed to make life easier with new local search features.

Local Search

When you search for a location and tap on the info sheet at the bottom of the screen, a new layer will be brought up to display photos, reviews, and more options to explore what you just searched for.

If you’re not satisfied with your selection, or just want to see what else is around, you can tap on ‘More to Explore’ at the bottom of the map and see what else is near you that’s similar to your original search.

Reservations and Uber

In addition, if you’re searching for a place to eat you can now make reservations from within the Maps app for restaurants found on OpenTable. This feature works in the US only.

Maps is now also capable of recommending a method of travel based on the weather. Is it too cold to walk to your next destination? Should you take Uber instead? Let Maps help you decide, as it can now inform you of estimated Uber pickup times and prices. This option requires you to have the Uber app installed.

Material Design

As for the new design, well that’s up to the individual user to decide. If you love material design then you’re going to love the new Maps app. The colorful new layout is all about creating surfaces and shadows that “echo the real world.”

The new layers and buttons are supposed to make the app more user friendly by making it easier for users to finding directions, recommendations, and more from within the app.

Is it actually an improvement? Well we’ll have to wait and see when it launches, but it sounds promising for both users and local businesses.

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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