Google Maps update delivers Material Design refresh, new features

With the Nexus 9 shipping and Android 5.0 factory images hitting Google’s servers, Lollipop and the Material Design look it embraces are on everyone’s mind. We’ve already heard this week about Google releasing updated versions of key apps like Calendar and Gmail to really show off that Material Design aesthetic, and today the company keeps that trend going, sharing word of a new version of Google Maps with some new Material Design influences of its own.

That means plenty of bold colors, smart contextual info cards, and a layered interface designed to feel as natural to use as possible.

But we’ve seen Material Design makeovers before; what’s actually new here on the feature front? Well, there are a couple functional improvements Google’s revealed. For one, integration with OpenTable will take you one step beyond locating restaurants in your area, and now help you make reservations. We also see the app pick up the ability to quickly and easily give Uber estimates, suggesting pricing for an Uber ride when computing directions that would otherwise have you traveling on foot or via mass transit, as well as offering an ETA for an Uber pickup, should you decide to go ahead with that option. For those Uber features, you’ll also need the Uber app installed on your device.

Look for the new Maps to start landing for both Android and iOS handsets over the next few days.

Source: Google

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!