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Google Makes MyMaps App Improvements But Doesn’t Quite Make It There
App has great potential as a trip-planning or local favorites tool, but user experience is not fully realized.
Google has rebuilt and relaunched its MyMaps app. For those unaware. it’s a stand-alone app that allows users to create and share custom maps.
The idea is compelling. But it’s less compelling as a user experience. A trip-planning and social-mapping tool, it’s also interesting as a way to save local favorites for repeated use.
Google listed the following improved or new features vs. the previous version:
- A new UI.
- New welcome guide.
- Faster/better performance.
- Directions integration.
- Street View imagery.
I have created custom maps in Google but was not a MyMaps app user. Accordingly, I can’t speak firsthand about any usability improvements over the previous version.
I can say, however, that the new app is largely unimpressive and doesn’t yet justify its existence as a separate app. You get essentially the same functionality, though not the sharing capabilities, with saved places in Google Maps. And Google Maps is a much richer and more utilitarian app.
Personal maps created online or in mobile with MyMaps show up under the Your Places tab on Google Maps. Right now, that’s the best use case for MyMaps — custom map creation for later use in Google Maps itself.
There’s considerable potential here, but MyMaps has a way to go before it’s truly useful or deserves to be its own app.