Last night, Google has started to gradually rolling out its all new Google Maps for Android, which was unveiled earlier this year. While it was expected to be a milestone for Google, it comes with some weaknesses and even leaves some features you might might used to use or enjoy from the previous versions. First of all the all new Google Maps has a new menu which slides in from the left. That's already pretty much known from other Google services like Google+ and the recent YouTube updates. Other than that, the map look and feel looks slightly different and follows the overall new design for Android phones and tablets. Google also highlights the "enhanced navigation" including live traffic updates, incident reports and dynamic rerouting.
Also new is "Explore", which is - according to Google - a new way to browse and discover popular local places to eat, drink, shop, play and sleep.
While Google has polished many of its old Maps features and even added a couple of new, it seems so that it has also left a couple of other - useful - features. Most noticeable offline maps (which allowed you to download maps to be used offline either in international roaming situations or on devices without cellular connectivity) as well as Google Latitude, which Google will retire on August 9th 2013, and allowed to share your location with friends.
The new Google Maps is now available for Android 4.0.3+ devices. Users with Android versions below 4.0.3 should visit http://goo.gl/5AMJS to find out more about the Google Maps app available to you.
UPDATE: As Antuan Goodwin posted on Google+, there's still a way to get maps cached on Google Maps 7.0. You have to zoom the map screen to display the area that you want to cache; type "OK Maps" into the search box and hit "Search"; watch as the maps are downloaded for offline viewing. Oh well, I thought we have left the command prompt behind us.
Cheers ~ Arne