Google Maps Is Probably About To Look Like This. Improvement?

    May 12, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Google could be getting ready to unleash a massive redesign for one of its most beloved products – Google Maps. While reports are unconfirmed, it’s looking like the company may soon implement some major changes.

Do you think Google Maps needs a redesign or should they leave it how it is? Let us know what you think in the comments.

The news comes from Alex Chitu at Google Operating System, who has shared a couple of screenshots of what he says is the new Google Maps interface. It’s no small redesign:

New Google Maps

Chitu hints that we could see the new look unveiled at Google I/O next week. Google does apparently have a three-hour keynote lined up – plenty of time to unveil a plethora of things, including spending some time walking people through any new features that might be included. We can only wait and see if this is the case.

People are skeptical of the authenticity of the screen shots, and with good reason. It is such a major overhaul, and there only appears to be one main source of the information (Chitu thanks a Florian K.).

However, Chitu has a pretty credible track record of Google coverage, and is always conscientious to point out when new Google features are simply tests. His post makes him seem pretty confident that this is the real deal.

Also, since his initial post, he points out that Google already has this Maps Engine Lite app available, which he notes “has a lot in common” with the alleged new Google Maps. “Full-screen map, interface elements overlaid on top of the map, the same search box and zoom buttons. It’s consistent with the new Google Maps interface,” he writes. Google Maps Engine Lite was announced back in March. Chitu suggests that it will replace the “My Maps” feature.

Chris Velazco at TechCrunch makes a couple of good points, like for one, that the design seems to fall in line with other Google products of late – the “cards” look in particular. Also, Google has had a history of recent product leaks. Remember the Chromebook Pixel leak? How about the Google Play rededesign leak? Or the Google Now for iOS video that came out early? Hell, they even leaked their earnings report early once.

In other words, it seems very possible that this is indeed real. In fact, I’d say it’s looking quite likely at this point (though I refuse to commit 100% until it’s unveiled).

The real question (outside of the obvious: is this real?) is: will people like the new interface? As I said, this is probably one of Google’s most beloved products. We saw how iPhone users reacted to the lack of Google Maps when iOS 6 came out without it.

With any major redesign, there are always going to be some who don’t approve, but with a major Google product like this, the backlash could be gargantuan if it doesn’t go over well. On the other hand, people could love it.

So far, according to The Atlantic, everybody hates it. We should probably at least wait until we have the chance to use it before being too critical though, no?

What are your initial impressions. Share your thoughts here.

  • http://www.4dplanning.com michael

    exciting times for google

  • http://calmarcdisplay.com Calmarc

    As long as it leaves our reviews alone, these changes to google maps/places can be quite disturbing tothe small business owner.

    • http://sisyphusmedia.com Carl Donovan

      Seems like they’re working to improve the places feature, with reviews prominently featured. I read somewhere (perhaps it was WPN) that Google is looking to knock Yelp off its horse.

  • http://www.software777.com zhang

    Google is a great company. I’m regret that China has blocked it.

  • http://terryjett.com Terry Jett

    Nothing wrong with “improvements”. But it seems that Google has no regards for the hard work small businesses have put into things like reviews. My point is to Google: Respect the ones that have helped make you rich and keep ya hands off reviews:)

    Also we can only hope that these “improvements” will spill over into the mobile version without making any slower.

    Don’t get me wrong I love Google but, here lately they seemed to have forgotten how they got to be so popular.

    • http://seotogrow.in Altaf Dawoodani

      I totally agree with Jerry, they have forgotten how they became #1.

      Since a while Google has been making changes and it has been bad for small businesses. All the genuine reviews are gone and new ones don’t come up soon.

      Change is inevitable but it should be for our betterment, after all, “Customer is still King”

      • Larry Reaves

        That’s the problem…. with google you’re not the customer unless you pay to place ads. Everyone else is the product.

  • http://www.singularfore.com/ Anfréa

    O google está passando de restauração isto é muito importante para todos .

  • http://www.brittanycottages.com Peter

    Leave alone if it aint broke dont mend it, too much info on a page with out requesting it just causes confusion, if everything was divided up so that if you wish to know of any car hire companys in a certain district just click a button and their position and mame etc appear

  • http://www.moverswilmingtonnc.net Jamie

    I do say i like the square red boxes better. Last time they changed from the old places to the new Google+ pages we lost all of our reviews. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again.

    Good Luck Everyone!!

  • http://www.bbc-antiques.co.uk martin stot

    I think the new look would be a good thing , already we have customers who have seen our business flagged up as they pass by , this looks good

  • http://www.pennyleisch.com Penny

    Personally, I go to a map to use a map. I don’t want to have it covered with boxes and other distractions. If I want to find businesses or reviews, that should be secondary and optional. Unfortunately, there are no other good options that compete with Google maps anymore. I’m hoping that the changes take into consideration that people may need a map, not a shopping tour.

  • houghton cole

    Well, Product developers in USA have always taken the GOOD THING and ruined it slowly by going cheaper and LESS efficient. SO GOOGLE Earth now will try to get fancy — offer TOO MUCH — Ruin User-Friendly and cause us the users to delete.
    Yeahhhh — Change usually means destroy

  • http://nubizzmarketing.blogspot.com Ismail Yusof

    OMG…..are they really going to change it? The business community world especially those that involve in transportation and logistics are totally dependent on Google maps to get their away around. My company use it to keep track on new routes and customers` destinations and we are fine with the current format. I will need to retrain my supervisors and drivers if there are any changes. That`s an addtional cost, not an investment.

    Thank you.

  • Randy Fox

    Here they go again. Throwing cyber spaghetti against the wall to justify their exorbitant salaries. Always trying to impress normal people with their omnipotent wisdom. Typical Google over thinking. Not caring who is damaged in their little nerd episodes. Google needs to trim staff I hear Yahoo is hiring. Keep the people that believe in user friendly, stop their petty little war with SEO companies. There is an old saying the bigger they come.

  • http://exabytes.sg/ Jerrick

    No big deal for the changes as long it easy to navigate and bring us to the right direction . Just wish that the latest update wont bring in lot of apps to the map that cause more complicated.

  • http://n/a Simon Harper

    In my opinion, no, it doesn’t ‘need’ a redesign but I like the fact that they have done this. I have noticed Google bringing the design off all their products in line with each other and maps could do with a bit of an overhaul. Looking forward to great things!

  • http://www.quantisoft.com Howard Deutsch

    It is hard to tell if this will be an improvement for most people until it is rolled out, if in fact it will be rolled out.

  • http://www.zeussystems.com James Coulombe

    When travelling without a car, it sure is nice to find nearby restaurants, tourist attractions and so forth. The fact that these are reviewed, can be filtered is a fantastic step forward. What needs to happen now, is people need to get their businesses listed with Google + so people can find them. This concept is lost on many businesses who will miss out otherwise.

  • http://www.marketsharewebdesign.com/ Kathy

    Looks good to me!

  • http://www.graciousstore.com Gracious Store

    Changes can be good or bad, since I have not used the features in the updated google map I cannot say for sure if the changes are good or not

  • http://www.onlinetutorialsonline.com Tutorials Online

    It’s good to know that Google is improving their Google maps for give more better results for users to see the full story of any business which is listed.

  • robert hulbert

    paid my money a year or so ago, but you never let me sign in.

  • http://internetexplorer robert hulbert

    paid my money a year or so ago but you never let me sign in.