The Google Maps app for Android has seen a minor update that brings a couple of small but important features to the app. The update is version 9.21 for those keeping score at home and it is rolling out to the Google Play Store now. You should see the OTA update hit your device over the course of the next couple of days.
The first change is a new notification for edits that you have made in Google Maps. As you know, users of the app can edit all kinds of information about a business or location within the app. You can change things like location (the pin drop location), the address, open hours, etc. to make sure that you and others users have the most up-to-date information. These types of edits are verified by Google themselves and can take a day or two before they actually go live. Now you can be informed of any edits you make going live within the app itself.
The ability to get these notifications is particularly helpful for those who are a part of the Google Local Guides program. I am one and I make somewhere between 10-20 edits per weeks to locations I visit or at home in the Denver area so getting these notifications is quite handy. However, you don’t have to be a Local Guide to edit anything so don’t let that stop you when you notice the open hours for a shop is wrong. Edit them for everyone’s benefit!
By-the-way, if you want to join the free Local Guides program, you can do so on the Local Guides site. This will allow you to contribute your reviews, photos and edits to any place you visit and earn points to some pretty cool freebies (like free Google Drive storage).
The other change is the Explore Around You feature. Those in the US and UK have had this feature for some time whereby you can tap on the bottom of the Google Maps screen and get information on restaurants and other things near your location. With this new release, the Explore Around You feature comes to those in France, Germany, Italy and Spain in EMEA while Japan in APAC now has the feature as well. If you haven’t tried this feature out, give it a go. It’s hugely helpful in cities that you aren’t familiar with in finding a place to eat or get a nice cocktail in the evening.