Earlier this week, we have rolled out a new home screen on Google Maps for Android, specifically designed for people in India. The new home screen makes Google Maps easier to use, letting you navigate around and explore things with just one tap. The newly added visual elements let you spend less time searching for your destination and more time enjoying your journey. And with this update, the new home screen will load the map much faster - so the millions of people in India coming online can discover and share great places, even on spotty connections.
Maps are great for helping you get from A to B, for instance when you’re looking for directions before hopping on a scooter to Connaught Place in New Delhi. Now when you fire up your Google Maps app, you’ll instantly see a directions panel with icons for modes of transportations. So whether you’d like to take the bus or are planning to go by foot to a new mall that just opened near you, just type in the place you’d like to go to and you’ll get directions in just one tap. While you’re looking for directions, the map can load in the background, making the home screen load much faster on slow connections. And if you’d like to access a certain route while you’re on the go without using data, you can also save a route to be used offline.
Below the directions panel, 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 transit lines when you’re on the road - these features are now just a tap away. In addition, with a tap on the download icon, you can now download a specific map area for offline use, so you can explore your surroundings even when you’re in a place with spotty connectivity or no connectivity at all.
This new home screen is designed for people in India - we’re hoping that this helps to provide a much more intuitive and faster experience for users in India. We’ll continue to evolve our Maps and Local products to make them useful no matter where you go or what you do in India, especially for the millions of people coming online for the first time.
Posted by Cathay Bi, Product Manager, Google Maps