There's a great-looking new update for Google Maps rolling out right now for Android 4.0.3 and up. It takes everything that was new and improved on the desktop and throws it on the phone. Finally, Android Google Maps has caught up with iPhone Google maps, and there's no reason to wait: Here's how to skip the queue and grab it right now.
Google Maps 7 brings with it the new cards interface, ditches the Action Bar at the top, and slams the sliding side panel, which seems to be the UI design du jour, in there for good measure.
Google's improvements aren't limited to simply cosmetic UI changes either. Navigation has gotten a boost with an integrated route view replete with traffic, road works and all that good stuff. The cards interface in the main map view also gives you access to both "Explore" and "Services", which should make finding stuff a little easier (it's certainly great on the iPhone at least).
The update's gradually rolling out as we speak, but if you're too impatient like me to wait and want to try it right damn now, Android Police has a load of mirrors of the APK for you to skip the queue and download immediately. Be warned though, there seems to be multiple variants of the app rolling around, including two separate versions for Android 4.1 and 4.2.
For what it's worth, I downloaded the 4.2 APK onto my recently Android 4.2.2-ified HTC One and it works a treat. If you download one and it looks all janky -- the resolution and UI art might be device specific you see -- just uninstall it and install one of the others. Oh, and you might want to scan it for viruses, given the gaping hole Google and phone manufacturers are currently in the process of patching. [Google Maps, Android Police via LifeHacker]
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