According to Daniel Graf, director, Google Maps, the app is gradually rolling out on Google Play and will soon be available on the Apple Store.
“Helping you find great places is what we love to do. And as more of us use mobile phones and tablets in our daily lives, information that’s useful to you isn't just about what you need, but also where you might find it,” he said.
“Today’s update is an exciting step forward for Google’s maps—one that we hope will make it faster and easier for you to explore and discover places you want to go.”
Among the notable features of the new app is Explore, which presents a fast and easy way to browse and discover new places without typing, and enhanced navigation which will give reports on the road complete with incident details and reroute a user incase a better route comes up.
Additionally, there is a new 5.0 star rating system that gives a quick read on how friends and others rate places like restaurants, bars and cafes. For an expert’s opinion, the Zagat badge of excellence and curated lists are integrated into search results so users can quickly spot the very best places.
Latitude and check-ins will also be retired with the new app and will cease to function on older versions by August 9. Users who still want to see their contacts on a map can get them on Google+ for Android as location and check-ins have been added to it.
“The new Google Maps for mobile builds on the design we released for iPhone last December and improves on it with a few useful search and navigation features. And it's the first dedicated app for Android tablets and iPads. We’re also retiring Latitude and are making some changes to offline, “said Graf.
Towards this end the offline maps feature for Android is also no longer available. Instead Google Maps has created a new way for users to access maps offline by simply entering “OK Maps” into the search box when viewing the area.
While My Maps functionality is not supported in this release it will return to future versions of the app and people who want to create powerful custom maps can still do so.