A big Google Maps redesign is now being tested on Android

 Google Maps graphic.
Google Maps graphic.

The significant Google Maps redesign we saw a glimpse of back in February has started reappearing on some Android phones, with new refinements added – and it could well be getting a full roll out in the near future.

This has been spotted by 9to5Google, and a lot of the design tweaks are the same. Several of the full screen panels have been changed to show part of the map in the background, giving users some context while they look up different details.

The corners of these panels are now more rounded, and there are easily accessible buttons for closing down or sharing whatever info card is up on screen. The design tested in February also used a stacked approach to the panels, so it looked like they were layered on top of each other, but that has now gone.

Perhaps the biggest change is in getting directions: the fields for the start and end points of the journey now float on top of the map, and the options for changing the mode of transport have been moved down to the bottom of the screen.

Coming soon?

Google Maps on Android
Google Maps on Android

Overall, it means more of the map is visible more of the time – you can click through to 9to5Google to see what some of the changes look like. We've seen the updated look appear on our phone, and we've included a couple of screenshots above.

Google hasn't said anything officially about these design tweaks, either now or in February, but as far as we can tell it's not being rolled out to all devices just yet. The update is applied on the server side, so updating to the latest version of the Android app won't affect whether or not you see the changes.

Considering this new look has been in testing for several months now, it shouldn't be too long before everyone sees it on their phones. Presumably Google Maps for iOS will be updated with the same changes at some point too.

We're now just days away from Google I/O 2024, which starts on May 14. There might well be a Google Maps announcement or two at the developer conference, and we're also expecting to hear about Google's future AI plans and the Pixel 8a phone.

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