September 24, 2023

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Latest Google Maps beta gives you more control over your preferred travel methods

And the wayfinding interface has been working on a facelift

By some indications in recent Google Maps betas, it looks like users are due for a refreshed, airier design. Changes have been percolating for the past several months with a very recent one being where users can find and toggle their preferred modes of travel.

9to5Google received screenshots from someone using Maps beta v11.28.0 showing off redone navigation and trip options interfaces. We have also received a tip from someone who got these UI changes for months on the stable path with his current version at 11.27.2. Taken together, this most likely means we’re looking at an A/B test.

We see a fuller view of the map as the route box on the top portion of the screen no longer sits on a white, full-width pane; instead, it just floats on top of the map. The modal suggestions have been moved from just below the route box to a dedicated pane at the bottom. In the present stable implementation, users can’t see the map while retrieving directions. This change has been around in betas dating back to at least February (via XDA-Developers).

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However, it’s the trip options menu that’s caught the newest addition: a preferred modes panel that lets users prioritize which methods of travel — driving, walking, biking, transit, or vehicle hires — they’d like to see first on the navigation pane. A similar panel is currently hidden in the settings of Google Assistant with regards to when it distributes directions.

Currently, Google Maps will deliver directions by default for the travel mode you last selected. If you’re setting up a new phone, it’ll default to driving. Public transport users are able to use the “Route options” selection in the ⋮ menu near the routing box to filter down to specific modes including bus, train, tram, and subway.

Some specific details may change over time between betas, but at the end of the process, we’d love to see that redesign move over to the stable track sometime soon.

Thanks: Eduardo


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