Google Silently Releases a Small Google Maps Android Auto Visual Update

Google keeps polishing the experience with Google Maps on mobile devices, but this time the company has prepared a little surprise for those running the app on Android Auto.
Old vs. new Google Maps UI on Android Auto 1 photo
Photo: Android Police
And this makes total sense, as Google Maps and Waze, which itself is another Google-owned app, are the most popular choices on Android Auto whenever it comes to navigation. So Google further refining these apps is something to be expected in the long term, especially because they are first-party apps on a first-party platform.

The good thing is that Google isn’t only focused on improving the available features, but also on tweaking the interface and refreshing it with new improvements that bring it in line with its other apps.

Most recently, Google has silently updated the interface of Google Maps on Android by adding a new set of icons that’s part of the company’s Material Design language.

As you can see in the screenshot here and provided by AP, the change isn’t necessarily a major overhaul, but it’s a small Material Design tweak that refines the way the app looks on car screens with Android Auto enabled.

The new icons can be seen when navigation is running on the screen, with improvements brought to all the buttons that are shown on the screen. The font has also received additional polishing, it seems.

The cited sources claims this cosmetic update for Google Maps on Android Auto has already reached broad availability, which means it’s live for all users out there. Oddly enough, however, it’s indeed enabled on my Samsung Galaxy Note9 powering Android Auto, but when running Google Maps on the car’s screen with a Google Pixel 3, the old interface appears to be offered.

For now, it’s all just a server-side switch, so given so many people already got it, I’m guessing it won’t take long until it’s enabled for everyone anyway.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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