After teasing a refreshed Maps application back at Google I/O, Google today began rolling the new-look app out to Android users everywhere. The new Google Maps takes the design that originated in last year's iPhone app and builds upon it with a more Google Now-ish look and some additional features.
An Explore feature in Google Maps allows users to tap on the app's search box and be presented with different categories of places to visit, including food, drink and shopping. The feature will also display places around the user that have been highly-rated. A five-star rating system is available for places now, and Google has also built Zagat badges and curated lists into the app. While actually on the road, users can see reports of problems along with details of particular incidents. Additionally, if the app notices a faster route than the one the user is currently on, it'll suggest a reroute.
It's not all sunshine and new features with this new Google Maps, though, as El Goog has also given a couple of features the axe. Google has excluded Latitude and check-ins from the new Maps app, opting instead to rely on check-ins using the Google+ app. Google says that Latitude will be removed from older versions of Maps on August 9. Offline maps in Android have also been tweaked, as Google has yanked the previous offline maps feature and replaced it with the ability to save the area that's currently being viewed by typing "OK Maps" into the app's search box.
Google says that its refreshed Maps app will gradually be rolling out to users on Android 4.0.3 or higher in the coming weeks. That includes both smartphone and tablets, thanks to a dedicated new dedicated tablet design that we first learned of earlier this year. The updated app will also be made available to iPhone and iPad owners on iOS 6 or higher "soon." To help pass the time until the Google Maps update is available for your mobile hardware of choice, you can check out a couple of promo videos for the new app down below.