New Google Maps Beta Debuts PiP Support And More Features

Google started rolling out the 9.59 beta version of Google Maps for Android earlier this week, with the build itself being packed with support for the picture-in-picture (PiP) mode and a wide variety of other new features. PiP support refers to the upcoming functionality of Android O that's essentially an improved version of the Multi-Window mode introduced with Android 7.0 Nougat. The feature allows you to reduce Google Maps to a floating window that can be dragged around the screen and resized depending on your needs. The current version of PiP support implemented into Google Maps is still highly experimental, as evidenced by the fact that the app's elements don't scale in an efficient manner when you resize its floating window, consequently making the service hardly usable. Likewise, you can't interact with most elements of the app in this mode, meaning that this particular iteration of the service is only useful for simple navigation.

The latest beta build of Google Maps also ships with a new Q&A forum where users can post queries about particular locations in hopes of getting answers to their questions from the locals. Furthermore, the Mountain View, California-based Internet giant updated its new offering with a section detailing your monthly driving stats, allowing you to quickly check your travel patterns and find out what kind of distance did you cover at what average speed and how long were you sitting in traffic over any given period. This particular functionality can be disabled by preventing Google Maps from collecting your detailed driving data, though the setting is enabled by default in the 9.59 beta build.

Being part of an experimental update, none of the functionalities described above are guaranteed to ever make their way to any stable build of Google Maps, though the company's development practices suggest that most if not all of them will still hit the stable channel in the near future, presumably by September. Refer to the gallery below to see how the latest beta functionalities of Google Mapps look in practice or follow the banner beneath this writing to download the universal APK file of the service signed by Google.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. 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]
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