Google just pushed out an update to the “Maps for Android” app that brings new high-resolution map tiles for pixel dense displays, a new look for Navigation on Android 4.0, and the ability to set a preferred mode of transit for directions.

New high-res map on the right, previous map on the left

In addition to a redesigned home screen for the Navigation feature of the app on Android 4.0 devices, the new higher resolution map tiles provide “a crisper, less cluttered map that is easier to read.” Google noted this would allow you to take full advantage of the pixel density of displays on devices like the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S II, and Droid Razr.

The high-res tiles will appear when visiting new locations on the map, but you will have to clear the cache in Map settings for previously visited locations. Google explained the benefits:

Compare our new map on the right to the previous map on the left. The road network is easier to see, less obstructed by labels, and has more color contrast. At more zoomed-in levels, you’ll notice a more controlled amount of maps labels to avoid cluttering the map and blocking out street names. The new style also helps maps react faster to panning, zooming and twisting.

Also included in the update is the ability to set your preferred transit mode. For example, you can set your preference for bus, subway, or walking directions, as well as the route option like taking the recommended route or an alternative. This will save you from having to adjust your preference before getting directions each time.

Version 6.5 of Google Maps for Android is available on Google Play now. Google has also redesigned the Maps YouTube channel with 12 new videos that walk you through features of the app.

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One Response to “Google Maps for Android updated with high-res map tiles, new Navigation UI, and preferred transit mode”

  1. bayxsonic says:

    Unbelievable. It's really just a small thing but… did they REALLY have to put a circle around the microphone? Wasn't the earlier version perfectly fine? No, it HAS to look like Siri. Geez, people.