Earlier this month, Google quietly added support for picture-in-picture on Google Maps, at least in a beta version of the app. In the time since, Oreo has officially started rolling out and now, the app’s new functionality has finally been pushed to the stable version.
Google Maps v9.60 for Android doesn’t debut the new picture-in-picture functionality, but refines it to the point where it can be used. In previous versions, PiP mode was unusable, but in v9.60 everything works great, as long as you know how to access it.
Currently, it seems that this functionality isn’t quite done as you need to use a keycode to activate it (which can’t actually be done in the final Oreo release).
The PiP window for Maps only works while actively navigating and pops up with information including basic directions such as the road name and turn you are about to make, as well as the estimated time of arrival. Above that, the window shows the current surrounding map, but that’s obviously a bit too small to really be of use.
Aside from PiP, Google Maps v9.60 also adds support for local guides to submit videos, as well as laying the groundwork for future features. In a teardown, Android Police also discovered several upcoming features coming to Maps for Android. Included in that are food reviews, the ability for business owners to publish events from mobile, and shortcuts, but the most notable new feature (if you ask me anyway) is the addition of personal notes.
Google seems to be preparing a new feature for Google Maps which allows users to add notes that are tied to specific locations. The functionality seems pretty basic, but having information such as an apartment number or gate code could really come in handy within the app.
Google Maps for Android v9.60 is available now on Google Play.
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