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Latest Google Maps Version Hides a New Feature to Make Navigation More Straightforward

We’ve known for a while that Google was working on a new widget for Google Maps on Android, and now it looks like the most recent beta update for the app brings it to all testers out there.
The new Google Maps widget 8 photos
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Google is making widgets quite an essential part of the experience with the new Android 12 operating system, and naturally, Google Maps is part of this strategy as well. After all, Google Maps is currently one of Google’s most popular apps, so it makes total sense to get its own widget as well.

Worth knowing, however, is the new Google Maps widget may not be exclusive to Android 12, and it could eventually make its way to Android 11 as well, obviously if this is an approach that Google eventually gives the green light to.

But right now, testers running beta builds of Google Maps are finally allowed to try out the new widget on their devices, as this feature has been integrated into version 11.3.0.

As discovered on reddit in this thread, the Google Maps widget does exactly what an Android widget is supposed to do in the first place: provide quick access to certain features or information right from the home screen.

So thanks to this new update, Google Maps users can search for an address within the app without launching the full interface, while at the same time being allowed to directly start the navigation to certain addresses with just a single tap.

The home and the work addresses both show up in the widget alongside nearby restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, coffee places, and hotels. Simply tapping any of them launches Google Maps where you can access the full information about these POIs.

At this point, it’s still not clear when the feature could go live for production devices out there, but of course, if you want to try it out today, you can just enroll in the beta program for Google Maps.


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