Maps is of course one of the bigger features that Google has to offer users, and it's gotten so much better since the first few versions of the app. Navigation has never been so good, and with Android Auto hitting more and more cars, Google Maps has never been so useful or as easy to use. With a new version of Google Maps – version 9.23 – it looks as though Google are far from finished improving this core app. Android Police have, once again, took a scalpel to this latest version of Maps and have found some pretty big improvements and new features, as well as some that could possibly be launching in newer versions of the app.
First off is the better notifications for Navigation, which now stands out better as a green notification with white text, that will remind some of a road sign. No matter what it looks like to you though, it just looks a hell of a lot better, and easier to spot quickly and easily. Sticking with notifications, and the new version of Maps will ask you whether or not you want to receive more info and such about a location, similar to the way in which Google Now does this. Maps isn't just an app to help get people from A to B however, as Google have bundled in the ability to review and view reviews about places for a long time. Now, they're making things a lot easier by making it quicker to add a photo to a review of a place, which can better show off a plate of food or a really nasty motel room.
Google introduced the ability to download Maps for offline use quite some time ago, but the way in which this has been handled has been less than stellar. With some yo-yoing around how to download Maps and such, it's been a rocky start for the feature. Now, Google is making it automatic and a hell of a lot smarter. Now, Maps will go ahead and download maps automatically for offline use, and there are some settings to tweak as well.
Live traffic also appears to be coming to Google Maps in future versions. We've seen it hit some parts of the world before, but it appears as though the option to use just Live Traffic data will be arriving in future versions of the app. For now though, v9.23 should be arriving on Android devices all over the place, and with it welcome changes.