Google Maps Android App Redesigned & Streamlined For India

Update: Google republished the original announcement detailing the changes on Tuesday, May 2. The original story is as follows.

The latest build of the Google Maps Android app that's being distributed in India has been redesigned and streamlined, the Indian division of the Mountain View-based tech giant announced on Friday, though its original blog post detailing the change has since been removed for an unknown reason. Regardless, the new variant of the Google Maps app aimed at Indian users already started rolling out on the Google Play Store earlier this week and should now be available for download throughout the South Asian country.

The latest build of Google Maps boasts a completely new home screen that's available exclusively to users in India, boasting a significantly simpler design that isn't as focused on presenting as much information as possible on a single screen and is instead meant to serve as a hub for many of the app's functionalities. A representative of the Alphabet-owned company said that the change was made in an effort to provide Indian users with a more intuitive experience that will see them accomplish their goals in Google Maps faster than before. The top destination field present in other contemporary builds of the app still provides users with a quick way to receive directions, while the transportation modes seen in the "Get Directions" section of the home screen allow users to quickly change those instructions based on their preferred means of traveling. The actual method of accessing those transportation modes, map details, and other extra features of Google Maps is somewhat different, as users are able to bring up all relevant menus with a single tap on the bottom toolbar of the app. Likewise, the developers behind the popular mapping solution also improved some background processes of the app that make it load maps faster while users are simultaneously searching for their destination. Finally, the bottom toolbar of the new Indian home screen of Google Maps also features the option of saving a map offline, the company revealed.

Google Maps is just the latest service in Google's lineup that received an India-focused update in the last few days after Chrome, Translate, and Gboard did as well. It remains to be seen how Google decides to develop its app in the future, but if its CEO's recent comments are any indication, Maps will soon contain much more ads than they do today.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]