Google has just announced a major release of Google Maps for Android and iOS. The biggest new feature is lane guidance, which will direct you to the proper lane so you can make your exit.
The full changelog was posted on Google Play:
- Turn-by-turn navigation now displays distance, arrival time, and quick access to alternate routes
- Save and manage offline maps in a custom list for when you're traveling or have a slow connection
- Transit results now display total walking time of your trip and the next scheduled bus or train
- Sign in to see your “Places to review” list from recently saved or searched-for places
- If you have the Uber app installed, open it right from Google Maps when comparing route options Bug fixes
Lane guidance was one of the few things a standalone GPS could do that Google Maps couldn't. The feature will display a series of arrows under the turn indicator, showing the number of lanes and which direction each lane allows you to turn. For a right turn on a straightforward road layout, it will direct you to the right lane, but roads aren't always that straightforward. Directions this specific naturally require a lot of road data, so the feature is currently only available in the US and parts of Canada and Japan.
Surprisingly, Google Maps 8 also integrates with Uber (a Google Ventures investment—maybe not that surprising), and will list the service as a navigation option where it is available. Choosing Uber will jump you straight into the Uber app with the destination selected.
Other than those major features, there are little tweaks all over the place. Arrival time, travel time, and distance are now all shown at once in the bottom bar, and the navigation route selection screen lists travel times next to each route. Offline access is easier to manage, and the menu in navigation mode has been redesigned. Google Maps 8 is rolling out to users on Android and iOS right now.