I remember using Google Earth back in the days on my PC and being thoroughly impressed. If I had seen what Google Maps would be able to provide almost a decade later, it would have blown my little mind.
We take some things in life for granted; one of those things is Google Maps. Other apps try to add too many features or try to make it too social. That’s why Google Maps is what you want to download if you need a map app for Android. There is something homely about using the familiar app on our smartphones and tablets.
As an avid fan of everything Google, I set out to test the capabilities of this nifty Android map app. And suffice to say, the app has improved a lot in recent times. Integration your location makes this one of the overall winners in the best GPS apps for Android competition.
A clean user interface makes everything instantly accessible. This GPS app for Android helps you in reaching unknown places in a well-timed manner.
That’s not all though. Because you can use satellite view while navigating, you can see the landmarks on the app to help you identify the location precisely. Now you won’t have to stop and ask for directions anymore, no matter how many times your spouse says you are lost. The location rating system is a huge plus for traveler.
Some of the features are not available in remote areas. Lack of some features (satellite view, traffic, etc.) is not necessarily Google Map’s fault, but I would have loved the full feature set implemented across the globe. Some of the user uploaded images are of amazingly bad quality. A regulated scanning or a moderating system is needed to weed out those low-resolution pictures.
The Bottom Line
The short version is; you should most definitely have this app on your Android smartphone or tablet. It is a very well designed and easy to use map app for Android. This app can easily combine with the best traveling apps or even the best restaurant finder apps for better exploration opportunities. Google Maps a must have app for anyone who is new or old on Android.
Installation and Boot
Because Google makes the app, you can the download location is the Google Play Store. If it’s not already pre-installed on your device, head over to the main page and tap on install.
The app will start downloading in no time at all. The size of the app can vary from device to device, but the app is of small size. However, I would recommend that you use a Wi-Fi connection for the download and installation to avoid extra data charges.
After the app is installed, you can launch it from the notification bar or the app drawer. The app launches in an instant.
As you logged into your Google account on your Android smartphone already, the app doesn’t need any special login. If your GPS is turned on, the app will take you straight to your current location.
This is all there is to the app. I would have liked some tutorial, but the app is very easy to use. However, there is a solid Tips & Tricks section to help you out.
I adore the interface of Google Maps. This interface is perhaps the most iconic interface in map app history, and the app that made us realize we need a good GPS in our lives. Partially because it is well implemented and partially because I have grown with it.
The main screen is almost uncluttered and shows you a good view of your surroundings. The text is very visible and is readable, even from a distance. For example, if you have your smartphone docked in the car, you will still be able to make out the words from the driving seat.
Then there is the sidebar panel that is now almost obligatory in modern apps. It slides from the left side of the screen and has a slew of interesting options.
The app does have a great Tips & Tricks section. I recommend taking a look at it, even if you are a long time user of Google Maps. You can access the settings easily from the panel too.
Using the App
Intuitive gestures make Google Maps a joy to use. You can pinch to zoom in and pinch outwards to zoom out. The app will take a little time to stream in the new satellite image in higher quality though. How long it takes depends on your internet connection speed.
The images are high quality, and you can make out the buildings with ease. Tap on a location of interest and there is a high chance Google has details about it.
All in all, using the app is easy and at no time you will feel lost.
Using the Navigation
The navigation system implemented here is solid. But some other apps offer more detailed features than Google Maps.
Still, even the most basic GPS Navigation app for Android beats not having one at all. Tap on a location and the app will ask you if you want to go there.
From there you can select the mode of transport and the app will offer the best paths for the destination. The app is now integrated with Waze and can offer information about traffic accidents or traffic holdups. The app will automatically bypass the incidents and take you to your location using the quickest route possible.
If you are not familiar with the location, Google Maps can provide a comprehensive guide about that too. If the location is famous, you can be sure to see reviews and comments about it.
The app even offers images uploaded by visitors. This can help you take in the location and reach the destination with relative ease.
The app can access your account. It’s a Google app so it will be logging you into your Google account automatically. The app will know and share your location. Then again it is a dedicated GPS and map app, so it is supposed to do exactly that. All in all, I see absolutely no problem with the permissions this app is asking.
Google Maps provide a great user experience and helps you navigate unknown roadways with confidence. Simply typing in the address and knowing the best route is a priceless feature. I don’t remember how many times this app has saved my time and fuel.
I highly recommend this app for anyone who likes to travel or just be adventurous. If you are of the forgetful type, this app can even help you get to work and back every day.
What is your personal favorite feature about this app? Do map it out in the comments.