Google has released version 9.21 of Google Maps for Android, and we are looking at a few new features coming to the app. Although it’s a pretty small update, all things considered. The headlining feature of this update is the ability to get notifications when an edit of yours has gone live, which you can toggle in the settings now. As some of you may know, users are able to edit business names, as well as add photos and such to Google Maps. However, unlike Wikipedia, these edits are verified by Google (mostly to be sure that no funny business is going on) and the edits can take as long as 24 hours to actually appear on Google Maps. This is part of Google’s ‘Local Guides’ program that they have.
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The delay is pretty reasonable and understandable. However, users would still like to know whether their submission has been approved or rejected. Now that is possible. In the latest update there is an option to be notified for new user edits. So you’ll know if Google did approve your submission or not. It’s not a huge change, but for those that are submitting changes to Google Maps, it’s a pretty substantial feature.
Another feature included here is bring the “Explore Around You” feature. This feature allows you to explore places around you like restaurants, museums, and other historical landmarks. Previously it was available in the US and the UK. With this update, the feature becomes available in France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Spain. In the changelog, Google says that Paris and Tokyo are getting some preferential treatment with this feature, by adding custom categories that would be more appropriate to those in those two cities. A good idea, considering those two are major tourist areas as well.
Google Maps v9.21 is available now through the Google Play Store and is rolling out slowly, as is quite normal from Google. It may be up to a week before it actually hits your device. There’s not a whole lot that has changed here with this update. However you can sideload it from the download link below.
Download: Google Maps v9.21