online / 22/05/2013

First Impressions: New Google Maps

google-maps-logoI’ve been playing around with the new Google Maps since receiving access earlier today.

I use Google Maps a lot, I have my home address saved (unlisted) so I can share it with folks who need my address/directions, but it also makes searching for directions that much easier.

As far as first impressions go – I dislike ugly fonts so I’m pleased to see that Google Maps got it right; it may seem unimportant, but it’s not so much an eyesore anymore:

maps-font

When you search for places, the results show up with everything you need to know on quick glance, like address, phone number, operational hours, website, streetview snapshot image, directions link and reviews (early days for South Africa) – however, all this info is dependent on a business listing themselves. So I was disappointed that my favourite sushi spot YuMe wasn’t listed – the only branch listed was Clearwater.

places-listing

I use Google Maps for live traffic info as well – in fact, I use whatever live traffic is available on the web before leaving and compare. This is what the new display is like (colours are self explanatory):

live-traffic
Lastly, street view is one my favourite features. I have to know what the place that I’m going to looks like if I haven’t been there. The new maps has a little “explore” button at the bottom right so you can quickly glance at places your map currently points to. I’ve noticed an improvement on the loading time (if you go into street view mode). Thumbnails are preloaded:

streetview

So far, I like the new Google Maps. It’s linked to your Google+ profile so if you review places, it will be attached to your name. So in a few months down the line, if you’re searching for a restaurant for example, you can see reviews by anyone or people in your Circles.

Anyone else been using it? What do you think so far?



Nafisa Akabor
Always online... except when I'm offline.




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