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Nothing on the New Google Maps?

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by Goodspike, May 8, 2014.

  1. Goodspike

    Goodspike Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I just downloaded the update. I can't believe there isn't a thread. This update fixes many of the issues with the most recent and most horrible major update.

    Once again there is a toggle to get to a wide view, rather than having to go to a menu. And when you go to wide view you don't lose the ETA information (and there's more ETA information).

    Also, in the menu area there's now a button for "alternative routes" which I assume allows you to see alternative routes while you're moving.

    I haven't driven with this yet, but it seems to be a step again in the right direction.


    codesplice and Clementine_3 like this.
  2. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Extreme Android User
    VIP Member

    I updated yesterday but haven't had a chance to try it out yet. It does seem like a much needed update! Or, a much needed revert to when it was great.
  3. RyanB

    RyanB Distributor of Awesome

    Yeah, in the upper left corner, where it counts down to your next turn, there are now three icons indicating possible directions. The two leftmost of the three show alternate turns that one can take, and the rightmost (colored in green instead of the gray of the other two) indicates the turn you're expected to take given the current set of directions you're following.
    Twiz and Clementine_3 like this.
  4. Goodspike

    Goodspike Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    You can also get to the list of turns by hitting the ETA area. Rather than toggling between miles, minutes and ETA it takes you to a list of future turns.
    Clementine_3 likes this.
  5. Goodspike

    Goodspike Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    The alternate routes is a huge thing--just tried it.

    I can't believe how poor the reporting was on this update.
    Clementine_3 likes this.
  6. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    I've been trying the new Google Maps since yesterday. I still hate the fact that after I zoom out to the zoom level that I like, the next time I navigate, the zoom level goes back to being really zoomed in and I have to zoom out again. It doesn't remember which zoom level I want.
  7. Goodspike

    Goodspike Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    But that was true with the last version too, right? The one before this week's release.
  8. codesplice

    codesplice Elite Recognized Moderator

  9. Goodspike

    Goodspike Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I don't know that one is that good. At least they put the Uber BS at the end of the article, and recognized the on-device storage of maps was not something brand new. But they really didn't hit at all on the usability factors, other than the lane indicators.

    You would think the improved alternate routes would get mentioned at a minimum, but seemingly all of these articles are written off of Google's press release. Google being an investor in Uber would rather that get mentioned.
  10. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    That is correct and is one of the reasons I regularly use Waze. I decided to try out the new Google Maps to check out the alternate route feature and lane guidance. Waze does not have these features.

    The alternate route feature is very cool. As I drive, I can see alternate routes and can choose to take them or not. The alternate routes also update along my drive. As I pass one alternate route turn off, it would recalculate other alternate routes. It will also update the ETA as well.

    The thing I don't like is that when I first start my navigation, the map is shown really zoomed in. That pretty much renders alternate routes to be somewhat useless unless I zoom out. If I leave it zoomed in, I won't be able to see the alternate routes ahead of time. One of my major peeves of Google Maps is that when I used it in the past, I had to always have to adjust the zoom level on every single drive.

    The lane guidance is a nice feature to have. In Canada, it is only available on highways. Also, when I tried it out this morning, I spotted an error. The highway I'm on is 3 lanes while going over the bridge. Maps told me to take the fourth exit after the bridge, but told me to take the right hand lane which exits to the second exit. I took a side street to bypass traffic before crossing the bridge. Before taking a detour (which I personally know, but Maps did not suggest), it told me to take the second exit. When I turned off, it rerouted and then told me to take to 4th exit. I'm not sure if the lane guidance info is wrong or if it got confused and left the lane guidance for the original route that told me to take the second exit.

    I'm going to try using Maps a bit more before deciding whether or not go back to Waze.
  11. Goodspike

    Goodspike Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    After you search for the address and before you hit "Start" it should show a wide area map with the alternative routes grayed out. You can select them from that screen.

    Of course, there have to be alternative routes for that destination. ;)
    BigRedGonzo likes this.
  12. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    Once you start driving, the navigation screen zooms right in. The idea of having alternate routes visible during my drive is that driving conditions may change during the course of my drive. I'm obviously going to choose the best route when I start my drive. If conditions change and an alternate route becomes available that I feel is better, I want to know about it. If the navigation screen is zoomed right in, I will not see the alternate route in time and will not really know where the alternate route takes me more than a few blocks. That is why when I start navigating, I manually zoom out.

    Another reason I manually zoom out is that I like to know the traffic conditions around my route. If my view is zoomed in too far, I don't have that information.

    I use Waze every day because I like to know the best routes through traffic on my daily commute. I don't need a really zoomed in view because I know the intersections in my city. Google Maps always assumes that I'm using it to drive where I have never driven before. I want a zoomed out view, so I have an idea of traffic during my daily commute and I like to know where my navigation app is going to take my 10-15 minutes later along my drive. With Waze, once I choose my zoom level, it remembers and will always launch in that zoom level. I don't see why Google Maps can't do the same.

    On another note, I noticed another error in the lane guidance. This is for an overpass that was rebuilt last year. Google Maps has always been very quick to update any road changes due to construction and other events. I'm disappointed that Maps got the lanes wrong on this overpass since it only recently started using lane guidance. The overpass was realligned last year from a right turn to a left turn. It got the turn right, but the lanes wrong.
  13. Goodspike

    Goodspike Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I prefer to be zoomed out, but the color of the ETA information (Green/Yellow/Red) will tell you if there's traffic on your route. Once it turns color you could change the zoom or now hit the alternative route button.

    With the prior version I would often just leave it zoomed in and look at the ETA color because zoomed out the ETA information would go away. I would only zoom out if the ETA was yellow or red.
  14. recDNA

    recDNA Android Enthusiast

    I want labs back or an option to measure distance on map.

    Mostly I want the OLD compass mode that allowed the map to rotate facing the direction I am traveling. The same functionality is supposed to be present now in compass mode but since compass doesn't work in moving metal box it is useless now. In maps 6.x direction was determined by gps so it actually worked.

    I'm supposed to be excited because nav zooms and tells you to get in the left lane when you know you're going left? I'll take maps 6.x any day.
  15. Goodspike

    Goodspike Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I finally just tried it in the real world and the alternative routing is the best I've ever seen. In an expanded map view it constantly considers new routes and shows them grayed out. They seemingly constantly change, and show some rather unusual (but good) routes I've never seen a GPS show.

    The downside is the expanded view is no longer shows the map with your current location at the bottom and your destination at the top. I'm not sure it's bad the way it is, but it will take some getting used to.
    JimSmith94 and codesplice like this.
  16. Goodspike

    Goodspike Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I did run across one place where the lane assist feature didn't work well. I was turning right after a freeway overpass, but there was an exit only lane to an on-ramp before the overpass. The lane assist came on too early such that it would have directed me to the on-ramp if I hadn't paid attention to the distance to turn. And because of an added left turn lane where I was turning right, counting the number of lanes wouldn't have shown the error.

    Still though it really does help when you have the map in a wide area view.
  17. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    There are a few features I like in the new Google Maps. The alternate routes while navigating and lane guidance (when it works) is nice. Maps also is better for searching for places you haven't gone to before. Overall, I'm going to go back to Waze.

    The reason I like Waze more than Google Maps is that it is just faster to start navigating to places I have already gone to. Waze also remembers the zoom level I have been using. Waze also reports and allow me to report on traffic conditions and other incidents while I'm on route. The traffic information is less on Waze, but where it does give traffic info, it gives more details such as how fast traffic moves in km/h (or mph if you use Imperial units). Also, broadcasting your location and route is a nice feature when I'm driving to pick someone up.

    I use Waze every day to find the best routes through traffic. I often travel to familiar places and it just takes fewer taps of the screen to drive to work or home and other familiar places. Maps take more than twice as many gestures to start the navigation. This has gotten very annoying as I used it this week. Then once I start navigating, I have to adjust the zoom level every single time. This adds to the time it takes for me to set up Maps before I start driving. Waze just makes it much faster to start driving. It's something I feel is important especially when someone is waiting for me to pull out of my parking spot.

    As much as I like the new features in Maps, they just don't outweigh Waze in overall usability. I would love to see the alternate route feature appear in Waze sometime. That is the one really useful feature that I would really want, but not enough to warrant continue use of Map.
  18. tommo47

    tommo47 On Yer Bike
    VIP Member

    Google has improved things for anyone who uses public transport in the UK, particularly bus services.


    Train info has been available for some time but bus services were only available in some areas in the midlands and south until now.

    Tap on any bus stop icon and the services/times are available for the current day, or you can plan a trip by entering a date and time of departure. It's certainly up and running in Lancashire.

    PiscesCloud likes this.
  19. mralaska

    mralaska Lurker

    Greetings. When I got my new phablet I was in a bit of a panic after seeing I no longer had Layers access to "My Maps" which I spent hours building links and depended on so I had to rectify. I am a new member so I cannot post links but my solution came via the folks at XDA who have made several versions of 6.x Maps available if you are willing to install from an alternative source but you can run it right alongside the new Maps. There is even a post in the thread showing which duplicate services you can disable to save battery life when running both.

    Living in the U.S. I did not suffer many of the problems they were trying to get around. It was confusing for me to try to figure it all out but I installed "NoMod 6.14.4-Compiled With S3s CM10.2 FW.zip" (google that for the link) and so far I have been unable to detect any difference from the old Maps. It installs with a unique tag on the name so there is no mistake which Maps and/or Navigation icon you are clicking on (I had to go into settings to send the icons to my launch page). Users in Europe may want to choose a different version.

    This place seems friendly but I am still picking my way around so please forgive me if I am missing or violating any protocols or guidelines.

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