The new Google Maps is here, and it could kill off the competition

We found the 3D buildings took a few seconds to fully render each time we moved around the map and while some buildings looked great, others appeared a bit cartoony and misshapen.

Google will no doubt look to tighten up this feature before it makes the new Google Maps publicly available, but for the time being it's a little hit and miss.


Google wants to make sure your Maps experience is tailored to you and this means you'll be able to search relevant restaurants, hotels and attractions around the world.

The new Maps service allows you to favourite and review places, and based on your ratings and stared locations it will then suggest other places it thinks you'll enjoy.

New Google Maps

Obviously it will become more tailored to you the more you use it, plus it will pull in friend recommendations to help you choose.

You can search things such as restaurants easily. Typing "Italian restaurants" in the search bar will prompt Google Maps to display the corresponding results on the area you're currently viewing.

If you want to find places in an area which currently isn't on screen, just put a comma after the type of attraction you want and enter the location you wish to search in.

Once again the whole process isn't the speediest, but it it's functional and it's something which we reckon has a lot of potential.

Please turn left

Of course finding the perfect place to eat is no use if you don't know how to get there, but happily directions are on hand.

Whenever you search a particular location, or select a road or attraction on the map, a card will appear under the search bar and there is a "Directions" button you can select which will tell you how to get to your destination.

New Google Maps

The layout has been altered in the new Google Maps, but all the same functionality is there, including the option of choosing driving, walking or public transport directions as well as viewing the traffic to make sure you don't get stuck in a jam.

Google has also produced a handy little YouTube video which walks you through the key new features.

Quick Verdict

The new Google Maps is looking promising, with some potentially handy features and a fresher design - although it's still a bit rough round the edges for now.

Given time though we're pretty sure Google will apply the correct amount of polish to make this version of Maps just as slick and efficient as previous iterations.

From this showing, Google Maps looks set to still be the best free mapping solution available on your PC and mobile, and the inclusion of 3D buildings and personalised results will only see it extend its advantage over the competition. Probably time you got a move on, Apple.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.