May 15th, 2013


Google’s 3-hour long keynote that will kick off Google IO today is expected to bring a lot of heavy-hitting announcements. New rumors yesterday suggested Google would be announcing a Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition with stock Android, and now we have word that Google might be unveiling something else at the show.

A sign-up page for new features of Google Maps accidentally went live late last night, and it gave us a glimpse of a new desktop maps experience to look forward to. For starters, the maps experience is now full-screen, as the text box for addresses and places searches is overlayed atop the vector-based maps. The new search box is like an “awesome bar,” as it will include information, ratings, reviews, pictures and more about the places you search for in a pane that comes up below the bar when searching.

The page also hinted that Google would be incorporating biking and flights into the directions feature, giving users an even more flexible set of tools to figure out how to get where they’re going. Alongside that, users will be able to simultaneously compare different routes in a more visual way. Finally, the new maps experience is said to feature imagery from Google Earth to give an even more rich look at your destination’s surroundings.


Unfortunately the page doesn’t hint at any of these coming to Google’s mobile app, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that new maps features are among one of many highlights to come out of today’s keynotes. Don’t forget to check back in with us at around 9am Pacific to watch the keynote live or get the latest and greatest updates from San Francisco.

[via Electronista]