Google is redefining the mapping experience for Android, iOS, tablets, and desktops with the new introduction of Google Maps at the Google I/O developer conference. Google says that it now provides over 15 billion kilometers of turn-by-turn directions and it’s working to improve that experience with additional imagery, photos, and user-submitted photo spheres captured with their Android smartphones.
Part of the new mapping experience, which is launching for tablets, Android phones, and iOS this summer, is the inclusion of reviews.
Google will now highlight reviews from people you know from Google+. The reviews are meant to be informative and relevant to you based on the people you know and trust.
Google will also highlight professional reviews. The company had purchased Zagat a while ago and now Zagat reviews will be part of the information cards that pop up when you search for a place.
Moreover, combining Google Offers into maps, now when you search for a restaurant or shopping place, if the location has a special offer, promotion, or deal, those Offers will be available to use or save for use later.
In terms of mapping information itself, Google is now improving the routing and traffic reports.
Traffic information will now be live and users can click on specific incidents for more details.
And if traffic adversely affects your route, Google will now offer dynamic rerouting. If in the middle of traveling to work, an accident suddenly pops up, Google will pop-up a notification on your mapping screen and ask you if you want to take a slightly longer path in terms of distance but will save you time on your commute.
And Google will also expand mapping experiences on tablets. There will be an Explore Experience on tablets that allows you to see what’s nearby you and you can discover new places and points-of-interests. The experience is similar to what you get on Windows Phone through either the Nokia HERE Maps or through Microsoft’s Bing Maps app.
All of that will be coming this summer.
And a new desktop version of Google Maps is available in preview, by invitation, starting now. Users interested in trying out the desktop app can visit maps.google.com/preview to request an invitation.
The new desktop edition of Google Maps is described by Google as maps being the UI. With Google Maps on the desktop, Google is looking to personalize your mapping experience even more.
If you’re searching for local things to do, you’ll see POIs pop up based on recommendations from your friends on Google+. The nice thing about the Maps experience is that when you search for a place, you’ll see specific roads that lead to the place highlighted and labeled. This allows you to focus on how to get to the destination without clutter. Uploaded photo spheres will allow users to explore indoor scenes and indoor mapping will allow users to preview shops inside malls and buildings.