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Google Maps Update Brings Material Design, Uber Integration

by Brandon Russell | November 5, 2014November 5, 2014 11:00 am PDT

As part of Google’s big Material Design push, the search giant on Wednesday said its famous mapping service will get the new look for both Android and iOS in the coming days. Google says the bold new colors and textures should make navigation even easier.

“This new look is all about creating surfaces and shadows that echo the real world; with Google Maps’ new material feel, layers and buttons come to life so you know just where to touch to get directions, recommendations and imagery,” said Evelyn Kim, Google Maps UX Designer.

The same principles introduced in the update pervade Google’s entire new Android 5.0 update, which we feel is the best and most beautiful version we’ve seen to date. In Lollipop, you know exactly where you’re going, and exactly where you’ve been, making Android more accessible and fun to use. In the new Maps update, info sheets for businesses will bring a new layer gliding up, showing you the usual reviews, photos and more. You can see the examples in the photos above—colors are bright, clean, and the layout is very easy to understand.

In addition to a simple makeover, Google is actually making Maps more functional, too. With OpenTable (U.S. only), users can make quick dinner reservations at their favorite restaurant right from Maps; a new screen should pop up showing you what times are available. Google is also introducing Uber integration; going forward, Maps will show Uber users estimates for pickup times and prices for their route (the Uber app needs to be installed). The new option should appear under searched transit directions.

Google Maps is one of the best services out there, and it’s even more powerful thanks to a fresh new look and deeper functionality. The update should be pushed out to Android and iOS users “over the next few days,” Google said.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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