Google Maps is invariably the preferred and dependable resource whenever one needs to locate a local business, view maps or get directions. Starting this week, Google is rolling out a new home screen on Google Maps for Android, specifically designed for people in India. After you update to the latest version of Google Maps, you’ll see newly added shortcuts on the home screen that help you explore the app in just a few quick taps. Google is making sure the new home screen loads fast – so that millions of people in India coming online can discover and share great places, even on spotty connections.
Now, when you open your Google Maps app, you will instantly see a directions card with different modes of transportation. Whether you’d like to take the bus to Connaught Place in New Delhi or you are planning to go by foot to a new mall that just opened nearby, you can start planning your route with a single tap. And if you would like to access a certain route while you’re on the go without using data, you can save the route to be used offline.
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Below the directions card, you’ll also see icons highlighting some of the other useful features on Maps—from getting a first impression of a place with satellite imagery, to real-time information about traffic around you, to more details about public transport lines when you’re on the road. All these features are now just a tap away. In addition, with a tap on the download icon, you can save a specific map area for offline use, so you can trust you’ll get to where you need to go, even when you lose connectivity.
Google officials feel this new home screen will provide a much more intuitive and faster experience for people in India. “The Maps team will continue to evolve Google’s products to make them useful no matter where you go or what you do, especially for the millions of people coming online for the first time,” says Cathay Bi, product manager, Google Maps.