Download: Google Maps Beta Brings 'Keep Map North Up' Feature

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If you're part of the beta group for Google Maps, then you probably have seen the update to version 9.34, which is available now on the beta channel. And started rolling out this week. The update isn't all that large, there's basically two things in the changelog. Which includes a new setting to keep the map pointing North. This is important for those trying to figure out their way around a new city or even in a new country. This way they'll be able to tell which way is north. The other change, is accidental swipe protection for this new North mode. Now this feature can be disabled in the settings if you don't want to use it on Google Maps on your device, which is always nice.

Now since this is a new APK, the folks over at Android Police have decided to tear down the APK and see what other goodies may be coming to Google Maps in the near future. One of those features appears to be "Parking Difficulty". And judging by the string of code in the APK, it appears that this will tell you if there's adequate parking in the area. This can be useful if you're heading to a restaurant downtown, where there isn't any parking on the street, and there's a rather small parking lot.

Another feature is Contribution Status. For those that aren't aware of the Local Guides program, it's a program where users like you can contribute information to Google Maps. Helping Google keep Maps up to date. Now it appears, that in the future, you'll soon be able to see the status of the contributions you've submitted here. Which include Approved, Pending, Not Applied or Unknown. Not a huge deal for many people, but it will be a nice feature to have added into the application.

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Of course, if you don't already have the update installed, you can head to the link below and sideload it. Although it is a good idea to join the beta community so that you'll get the beta updates in the future – and not miss out on any updates either.

Download: Google Maps Beta v9.34