Download: Google Maps v9.54 Has Code for Notification Channels

Google Maps v9.54 just launched on the Play Store, and it has a few changes in there, but the majority of the news with this release lies in the code. The APK has been torn apart to see what's new in the code, and it turns out, there are quite a few changes coming, but none of them are live yet. The most interesting, especially for those excited about Android O, is notification channels. Google is adding notification channels in Android O, and there's some groundwork code in v9.54 of Google Maps for these notification channels. Basically, notifications from Google Maps are going to "Other Notifications", seeing as most notifications from Google Maps aren't that important anyways.

It also appears that Google Maps will be adding support for saved locations for school and gym. There's some code already in the APK that hint at this, but Google has also added a picture for each location that will be used. This is going to make it easier for Google Now to tell you when you need to leave to head to school and/or the gym, especially if it is on your calendar to head to either place. Not a huge feature for Google Maps, but still very useful. There also appears to be a task list for "Nearby Need", and as Android Police points out, there's not a whole lot of information here about this feature, but it does sound like it's a way to remind you to do things when you're nearby different locations or venues. It's likely that Google will give out more information about this in the future.

This is the beta version of Google Maps, so if you have opted into the beta, you should see the update pretty soon. However, if you are impatient and want the update now, you can sideload the APK using the download link below. To sideload the APK, simply download the APK, then go to settings and make sure that "Unknown Sources" is checked, and you'll be able to install it. It will install over your existing installation of Google Maps.

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