Having a 720p display on a smartphone is no longer an oddity, and 1080p looks like the tablet resolution of choice as we get up into the 9-to-10-inch range. With so many high resolution displays around, it’s no surprise that app developers are updating their apps to look their best on these high-pixel-count screens. The latest to join the party is Google, with a new update to Maps that brings the app some redesigned map tiles, as well as a couple other changes.
The new map imagery for devices with high-resolution displays makes some subtle changes that really give it a crisp new look. You’ll see smaller features at lower levels of zoom thanks to improved contrast. Google is also trying to scale-back the number of text labels used in its maps in an effort to help reduce clutter.
Users running Ice Cream Sandwich will notice a new home screen for the app’s navigation function, with quick swipe access to your recent destinations. If you do a lot of route planning that utilizes Google’s knowledge of public transit options, you’ll now be able to specify your preferred method of travel, so Google doesn’t keep trying to stick you on a bus when there are rail options available.
The new Google Maps 6.5 is available through Google Play now. Users updating from older versions may want to clear their cached map data in order to force the loading of the new high-res tile imagery.