Several Google apps on Android have received the Material You redesign over the past few months. Some apps have also seen the addition of new widgets in preparation for Android 12. Now, the Google Maps app on Android is getting its own new homescreen widget.
The revelation comes from u/neilAndNotNail on Reddit. An APK teardown by XDA last month revealed hints about the new widgets. It appears on Google Maps v11.3.0, though only a handful of users have received it so far.
Screenshots reveal that this is a dynamic widget with the ability to adjust the navigation shortcuts depending on the size. However, users only have access to up to eight shortcuts at a time even when the widget is fully expanded.
The widget also supports dynamic theming on Android 12
Additionally, the new widget has built-in support for Android 12’s dynamic theming feature. This allows the widget to adjust its coloring based on the theme/wallpaper of your phone. Meanwhile, Android 11 users will see the widget with conventional blue accents.
This follows a recent Maps update adding support for fuel-efficient routes in the U.S. The update also offered quick comparisons between the fastest and the most fuel-efficient routes to help you plan your trips wisely. Another handy addition as part of this update was Lite Navigation for cyclists. This offers a clutter-free view of all the relevant details including elevation, ETA, trip progress, etc. So it’s clear that the Maps team has been busy lately.
On a separate but related note, Google is facing more trouble than usual with its annual Android release. Although Android 12 was supposed to reach Pixel devices by now, reports suggest that the rollout may only start after the launch of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro on October 19.
With Android 12 betas downloaded by over 225,000 users, Google said that testers found more than 50,000 bugs with these early releases. This partially explains the delay in rolling out the new update.
All indications currently point towards a late October or early November release timeline for Android 12. As is the norm, Pixel smartphones will get the update first. Other OEMs, including Samsung, could start the update rollout shortly after.
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