Life & Style

Google quietly releases a redesign to its Google Maps alternative

Google has updated its popular turn-by-turn navigation app. Not Google Maps, but Waze – its second most popular option in the category. Available on both Android and iPhone, the latest beta reveals a redesign that will be coming to the app in the near future.

The overhauled user interface places the search box at the bottom of the display when using the map mode on iOS. If you own an iPhone with a larger touchscreen – like the iPhone Xs Max or iPhone 11 Pro Max – then having the box within easy reach at the bottom of the touchscreen should be a welcome addition. Included in the search box is a shortcut to the Google Assistant to make it easier for Waze users to search for destinations using voice commands.

On Android, the latest beta puts the My Waze bar in the key spot at the bottom of the display, which launches the typical app menu when tapped.

Dark mode fans will be happy to find that the updated designs will be available in both light and dark appearances, which is nice. The user interface will switch between these two modes automatically based on the current theme setting on your device. So, if you’ve set iOS to change to dark mode automatically when the sun sets, Waze will switch its appearance ready for the next time you open the app.

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There’s no word on when these changes will roll out to Waze users worldwide. However, Waze has already confirmed plans to hold a digital event on September 15, which seems like a good time to discuss the redesigns, new features – and roll out the updates to iOS and Android users worldwide.

While Waze users on Android will likely love the tweaks, iPhone owners might be a little harder to convince. That’s because we’re weeks away from the launch of iOS 14 – the next major mobile operating system coming to iPhone – which includes a bunch of improvements to Apple Maps.

As the default navigation app available to iPhone owners, Apple Maps is a compelling option for many.

And with iOS 14, users in UK, Ireland and Canada will also get an improved Apple Maps experience already launched in the United States. Apple has slowly been rebuilding its entire navigation system with much, much more detail. And now those improvements are coming to Blighty. Cycling directions are also coming soon to the Google Maps rival. Electric vehicle routing adds charging stops along a planned route based on current vehicle charge and charger types.

An all-new Guides feature provides a curated list of interesting places to visit in a city, created by a selection of trusted resources.



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