Google have been very busy indeed, over these past couple of days. Releasing the new version of Maps to Android and now, they're bringing some of the functionality back that the new update hid away. Yesterday, we ran a post telling you how you could continue to cache Maps to use offline through the use of "OK Maps" but now, Google has listened to feedback and there's now a dedicated control for it in this latest update to the app. Here's the statement from the Google Maps account on Google+:
We've been happy to hear so many of you enjoying the interface and features of the new Google Maps app for Android, but we know some of you are missing an easy way to access maps offline. That's why our engineering team has been working around the clock to add a "Make this map area available offline" card below the search box for easier access. And, if you still want some #thumbercise, typing "ok maps" will work too!
It's great to see Google listening to their feedback but, we'd still like to know why Google thought about sweeping Offline Maps under the proverbial rug in the first place? Nevertheless, it's back and there's also been the addition of some new countries that are supported by Google's Navigation, 19 countries have been added including those in the Far East. The changelog in the Play Store is the same as it was yesterday at the time of writing but Google are saying that this latest update should be rolling out in the coming weeks.
Latitude, however, is not coming back. Google still plans to let Google+ take over this functionality. Surprisingly, we saw that more of you - over on our Google+ page - were disappointed by the closure of Latitude than you were the hiding of Offline Maps. To make it easier for those that are going to miss Latitude, Google have included a "Where's Latitude" link in the new menu.
With this update, we've also added a "Where's Latitude?" link at the bottom of the side menu which provides more information about the future of location sharing.
Don't worry if you've not gotten the update just yet, as Google say it could be a week or two before it reaches everyone.