Google has announced a round of updates that will start rolling out to Google Maps on Android that are designed to enhance the user interface, making it a little quicker and easier for users to access useful information. The data to be accessed via the new update is information already available in the app – Google is just trying to make it a little bit easier for users to get to it with a minimal number of taps of the screen. When users open the new, updated app, they will notice three new tabs at the bottom of the screen. The tabs are intended to provide quick access to real-time information regarding nearby places to eat, commute information, or public transportation schedules.
The first of the tabs will help users find information on restaurants nearby their location. As is currently the case, when the tab is used restaurants are grouped by categories like “best dinners,” “cheap eats,” or “where the locals eat.” Google also added a panel with quick access to other popular and frequent searches, like gas stations or ATM machines.
The second tab helps users calculate travel times assuming they have saved their home and work locations in Google Maps. If those are saved, Maps will provide a real-time estimate for commute time along with traffic conditions information and any expected delays on the route, like road construction bottlenecks. Since most users likely know the route to work or home and do not need turn-by-turn directions, Google made it possible to access the traffic conditions information with a simple tap on one button.
Finally, for users who use public transportation like trains and buses that run on regular schedules, the third tab will provide information on which bus or train to take, how long the wait might be for the next one, and ETA information. Again, this is all contingent on users having their home and work addresses saved. Google also provides access to nearby stations and real-time schedules via a single swipe down on the screen if a user is heading somewhere else.
In their announcement, Google does not indicate these features are limited in any way to certain metro areas or locations. If you are interested in any of these new features, but sure to be on the lookout for the update being ready to install on your device.