Google Maps 2.0 hits the App Store, brings new iPad design, live traffic, and new Explore mode

Google Maps 2.0 is now live in the App Store, and it brings with it a gaggle of new features, including an all new iPad interface, better navigations with live traffic, and a new, popular location finder called Explore, among other things. Here's what the Google Maps blog had to say:

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 and My Maps which we’ll explain in more detail below.

To be frank, neither Apple nor Google maps have been outstanding for me lately, with both delivering me to place that, while near where I wanted to go, weren't exactly where I needed to get. Google's been better than Apple, but not spot on either. So, while interface updates and live traffic are nice, there's still a ways to go in actually getting us where we want to go.

Since Google Maps for iOS is free, however, there's no reason not update, much less to grab it if you haven't already. And once you've tried it out, let me know what you think. Is the new stuff an improvement?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Google Maps 2.0 hits the App Store, brings new iPad design, live traffic, and new Explore mode


The new app update is all well and good, but the traffic appears to be on the wrong side of the road in the UK (i.e. morning rush hour traffic is shown as fine into London on the M1 but bad going out of London)! Makes the traffic feature rather pointless and is making me resort to using Apple Maps... never thought that day would come!

The update also adds the "OK Maps" command; entered into the search bar, it caches the map that's on screen currently.

I've found Waze to be the map app to get me to the correct location over the others. Too bad the search feature is clunky. I think Google acquiring Waze is going to be huge for both know, until they merge.

I WANT to like Apple Maps, I really do. However until Apple Maps restores the missing half of the subdivision that I live in (it literally only shows half the roads in the neighborhood) among other glaring omissions from personal use, Google Maps remains my go-to map app. I'll be downloading it onto my iPad when I get home tonight.

I was excited when I heard Kiss' Detroit Rock City. Not so happy when I realized it wasn't Kiss. Then wondered how many times that phone needed to be charged throughout the day.

Used both for my recent trip from SC (where I now live) to my home state (MA)

Only had one problem, somewhere in northern/western VA on 77south. Didn't want fast food. Apple maps (through Yelp) found a mom and pop pizza place.

All services brought me to the right place, but they all wanted me to go down this little road that was just slightly past it. Behind it, actually. None could actually find it, so guess the problem isn't the apps, but the geodata.

Sent from the iMore App

I see my history as well as the older looking version of explore which just has the pictures for the different options. I guess I was expecting the newer looking tabs that I've seen in all of the videos of the new version like what's shown in this article. Is that just on Android?