Android Auto for phones gets revamped Maps with better landscape support

Android Auto for phones gets revamped Maps with better landscape support

The latest Google update hits Maps application for smartphones, including some alterations for better navigation on Android Auto.

In the latest update to version 10.45, the most notable alterations will, indeed, apply to Android Auto. It’s because the changes are most noticeable in the landscape orientation.

Read: Google Maps adds COVID-19 alerts on public transport & travel information

What are the changes?

To set things straight: the change is controlled by Google Maps and not the Auto app.

In the latest Maps v10.45, you will notice a more modern and sleeker user-interface every time you open navigation mode in Android Auto on your phone.

Landscape Mode

Let’s start where the change is greatly felt. The improved user-interface no longer takes up the width of the screen in landscape mode. This means that when you rotate your phone to 90-degrees or use Maps in Android Auto, users will still be able to actually see the map.

Old user-interface of Maps on smartphones
Old user-interface of Maps on smartphones

The icons to dismiss or start navigating are also different. Before, that had been designed to fill up a significant portion of the lower half of the screen, which stretched from side-to-side to fill that space. Once pulled up, it fills up the entire screen, especially when navigating in landscape orientation.

New user-interface of Maps on smartphones
New user-interface of Maps on smartphones

Now, the interface of the latest Maps on smartphones are similar, if not identical, to the standalone Auto head units. Google also placed rounded corners on the interface to effectively restrict it to set the width.

Portrait Mode

There is not much to change to the portrait orientation of the app. Well, at least not that users can easily notice.

As mentioned above, the impact of the changes will likely be felt by users who prefer the landscape orientation, or users that prefer an Android Auto-driven Maps experience.

However, that does not mean that there are no changes to this orientation at all. It’s just that, it will affect far fewer users.

Portrait mode's old UI on smartphones
Portrait mode’s old UI on smartphones

If you will notice, the portrait mode shows a similarly rounded-corner card-like design. This means that there is now a small bit of the map still visible to the left or right-hand side of the card.

That piece of the map showing disappears when the card is being pulled-up and the rounded corners remain.

Portrait mode's new UI on smartphones
Portrait mode’s new UI on smartphones

The banner at the top has been adjusted too. Now, it floats over the top of the UI instead of taking up pretty much the whole of the screen.

Other key changes to the card are how the information and its icons are presented. Google centered the travel time, distance, as well as the arrival time at the top of the card. The collapse icon has been replaced by a ‘potential routes’ icon – which takes its place beside the travel and distance information, providing users other possible routes to their destination.

In addition, the left side of the now-centered details is an “X” icon to close out the navigation. The card is collapsed now using a gesture.

Server-side arrival on the users

It is clear that Google’s goal is to provide better navigation experience for its users with every update. Eventually, making Google Maps as one of the best maps application there is.

The best thing about this news is: it’s arriving as part of a server-side update. Users won’t have to check Google Play or their phone settings for updates. It just appears on your smartphone when it’s ready.

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