Google Maps Update Adds Video Tab & Layer Mode FAB Button

The latest Google Maps update is adding a videos tab and a Layer Mode FAB button to the main UI screen which should make it much simpler to switch between the different layers like Satellite view, default view, and terrain view. The new videos tab is going to be one of the bigger features as this ties into the new ability for local guides to add videos to the places they have visited within Maps, much like they could already do with photos. For anyone who is looking through places, or looking for a specific place and wants to check things out, now the dedicated video tab makes finding these videos uploaded by local guides just a couple of taps away so they're super easy to find. Having said that the videos tab seems to be something that is not showing up for all users just yet, as a quick search through a couple of locations and navigating to where the videos tab was supposed to be came up with no results.

The new FAB button for transitioning between layers is placed at the top of the map UI on the right-hand side, and when you tap it a small overlay box pops up that shows the three different layer modes you can choose from. This has been moved from the hamburger menu on the side where you used to tap the layer that wanted to enable, so now that it's right out in the open with a dedicated button it should be easier to access as well.

In addition to the new videos tab and the Layer Mode FAB button, this latest version of Maps is also adding in some new notification channels for the app for those that are running on Android 8.0 Oreo, which is going to be a little bit more limited in terms of how many users will be able to see and access these channels since Oreo isn't on a whole lot of devices yet. This is also another change which seems to be rolling out to compatible devices gradually as it wasn't appearing when checked. When they do pop up though there will be new channels for travel times for delays, major delays, and station info. Maps will now also send you notifications about questions regarding places in your area, though this is an option which can be disabled so you don't have to receive them if you'd rather not. It looks like Google is also preparing for the app to allow users to customize their commute details like beating delays and setting up custom updates. There also seems to be be more prep work being done for the upcoming Two-Wheeler mode, and an upcoming feature that will let you notify people that you're on your way home.

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Justin Diaz

Justin has written for Android Headlines since 2012 and currently adopts a Games Editor role with a specific focus on mobile gaming and game-streaming services. Prior to the move to Android Headlines Justin spent almost eight years working directly within the wireless industry. Contact him at [email protected]