Google revamps Google Maps, gives it a ‘material design’ makeover

6 Nov 2014

Google Maps will be transformed in the coming days with a fresh new look based on material design principles that the search giant says will make direction-finding even more instinctive on iOS and Android devices.

Google says there’s more to the updated app than good looks; new functionality includes the ability to reserve a restaurant table directly from the Google Maps app. This additional feature is currently only available in the US.

The new look Google Maps comes with the addition of new info layers that will glide up to the top of the screen at a touch to encourage adventurous souls to visit new places and learn more about the environment they are in.

The new app also features integration with popular taxi app Uber which will show Uber pick-up times and route prices based on their walking route.

This option will appear if users already have the Uber app installed on their iOS or Android devices.

Bold colours and textures are in

“Bold colors and textures are in, explained Google Maps UX designer Evelyn Kim, “and Google Maps is on trend, with a slick new style to make traveling with Maps even easier.

“Over the next few days, when you open up Google Maps on your Android or iPhone, you’ll be greeted by bright colors and a fresh new design.

“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.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years