Google Maps redesigned with improved search and tablet UI (video)

Google Maps redesigned with improved search and tablet UI video

An errant leak this morning gave us a pretty good idea that Google Maps was getting revamped in time for I/O, so this announcement comes as no surprise. Mountain View just pulled back the curtain on the next major release of Maps for desktops while offering up an advance look at the Android and iOS versions. The mobile preview takes a more personalized approach to navigation, with a rating system and offers from merchants like Starbucks. The company also announced the Experience feature for tablets, which takes a look indoors and offers up info on things like shopping, dining and hotels.

Google also showed off the redesigned desktop version, too. New features include "immersive imagery," and the map itself is now the user interface -- with Street View and Google Earth integration. After entering search terms, icons will appear, indicating each type of result rather than the pins of previous versions. Clicking on one will pull up reviews from friends, Street View and a "see inside" option with 360-degree viewing. The views come thanks, in part, to user-submitted photo spheres. In terms of personalization options, the map will analyze the places that you travel, highlight routes and offer suggestions based on spots that you and your friends enjoy. Maps also gathers images for a specific location and displays those snapshots via a carousel down below. A retooled directions experience now offers the option of toggling between driving and transit routes alongside a schedule viewer for factoring in transfers and walking. To sign up for a chance at the desktop preview, hit the coverage link below.%Gallery-188473%