Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Google’s Upcoming Maps App Includes Smarter Venue Search, Waze-Like Rerouting

It wasn’t that long ago that iPhone users were cheering about the release of Google Maps for iOS.

Now Google is readying its next update to the Maps mobile app, which will be rolled out for both Android and iOS devices sometime this summer. The app will be optimized for iPad and Android tablets, as well.

Shown off today at Google I/O by Brian McClendon, Google’s vice president of Maps, the upcoming app seems to take small slices from both Foursquare Explore and Waze, improving local venue search as well as live rerouting recommendations during navigation.

McClendon showed how a smart search from Maps for “Burmese food” or “pizza” in San Francisco will turn up a bunch of local results that include friends’ ratings — the way Foursquare does — but also utilize Zagat data to show places worthy of a Zagat badge. This is all part of Google Maps’ new “unified five-point rating scale.” Huh. Well in either case, there’s a seemingly cool swipe feature for swiftly browsing through search results in Maps rather than reading them in list format.

And Google’s Offers service was tied into the mix by showing venues with deals or discounts in results. The first of these offers will come from Starbucks, but as Google incorporates Offers more into mobile, we can likely expect to see deals from other businesses.

I/O attendees also got a sneak peek at the app’s “dynamic rerouting” feature, meant to give better, faster, real-time navigation updates. (Waze might want to look up from its acquisition talks long enough to take note of this one.)

Early in the presentation, Google took a jab at Apple’s map mishaps, with McClendon saying that Google Maps in iPhone has been a “success” due to the fact that the app is “sleek, simple, beautiful, and let’s not forget, accurate.”


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