A good number of people will agree that Google Maps is one of the most underappreciated Google services, yet it remains to be a very powerful tool, if you ask me.
In fact, it’s easy to think of Google Maps as one of the most powerful tools the search giant owns, which is probably why the company is already rolling out an update that brings Android Oreo’s picture in picture (PIP) feature to the mapping application.
For those with an eye for detail, you might have noticed that Google Maps received Android Oreo’s PIP feature a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t usable in any way. With the latest update, which comes courtesy of the app’s version 9.6, you will now be able to enjoy the feature in full capacity.
Previous reports that the PIP experience on Maps was affected by rendering issues and constant app crashes are no more thanks to this updated version. What this means is that all Android Oreo users of Maps can now take advantage of PIP without any hitches. The update also shows off a yet-to-be-released “personal notes” feature that should – presumably – allow users to write down some notes about a given location, probably something you wouldn’t want to share with the rest.
There’s also a feature that will allow business Google Maps users to publish events via the Android app. This feature is already supported via the web version of Maps, but having it on your phone makes it a lot more convenient to add or change info about these events.
The new Google Maps 9.6 also adds a new shortcut feature. This allows users to pin shortcuts to a given location on the interface, which should save you more time instead of having to open up the menu whenever you launch Maps. If you regularly visit restaurants, the updated Maps will also let you upload photos and reviews of the dishes in the restaurants and they can be rated using a thumbs-up system.
Note that these features have been spotted on devices running Android Oreo, which means Google Maps users must also be using this OS in order to enjoy the features – or at least PIP. At the moment, we don’t know if other versions of Android will also receive the same treat, but we are keeping our fingers crossed.
If the update has not hit your phone, feel free to grab the APK version at APK Mirror or any other trusted website you know. This version must be installed manually.