Google Maps has changed the way users can hide the search bar and other user interface elements on its app for Android and iOS devices. Previously, users could simply tap anywhere on the map to hide the UI and see the full map. Now, users have to swipe up on the search bar to do the same thing.
The change was noticed by some users in the Google Maps Help forum in February and has now been rolled out to all devices. The new gesture is to help users see the full map, but some users find it less intuitive and convenient than the old one.
Another consequence of the change is that tapping anywhere on the map now drops a pin immediately, which might be useful for some users but annoying for others. The change also affects how users can dismiss other UI elements, such as the Explore sheet and the location listings.
On the other hand, sometimes users have to swipe up two times to make the UI disappear. The bottom bar shows the “Latest in [area]” sheet from Explore, and they need to swipe once to get rid of that UI, and another time to hide the rest of the UI. But when there are location listings, users only need to swipe up one time.
Google Maps is one of the most popular and widely used apps in the world, and any change to its functionality can have a significant impact on user experience. It is not clear why Google decided to make this change or whether it will revert it in the future.
Meanwhile, a group of tech giants, including Meta, Microsoft, Amazon and TomTom, has launched a new initiative to provide open map data for developers. The Overture Maps Foundation, established last year, has recently released its first dataset, containing information about millions of places and transport networks around the world.
The coalition hopes to break the duopoly of Google and Apple in the online map market, which often charge app makers for using their maps as a service. By offering the underlying map data for free or at a low cost, Overture aims to enable more innovation and competition in the mapping and navigation sector. The data was collected and donated by Meta and Microsoft, and verified and edited by Overture.
The group claims that its data is more accurate and comprehensive than other open map sources, such as OpenStreetMap, which relies on crowdsourced information.Get latest Tech and Auto news from Techlusive on our WhatsApp Channel, Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram and YouTube.
Author Name | Om Gupta