As a result, Google Maps has been updated several times on Android and Android Auto in the last few months, and April, in particular, has been pretty busy for Google users.
Google has released no less than 10 different Google Maps updates so far this month for both stable and beta channels, with the most recent builds landing earlier this week.
The most recent version of Google Maps beta is 10.66.1 (up from 10.64.1 beta on March 31), while for those running the stable build, the latest update is Google Maps 10.65.2 (the last March release was version 10.63.0).
So it’s pretty clear Google is working non-stop on polishing the experience with Google Maps on all fronts, and while the company hasn’t provided any detailed changelogs on these updates, we already know several big features are currently being developed.
First and foremost, it’s the driving mode that comes bundled with Google Maps and which turns the navigation app into a full replacement for Android Auto for phones. The Google Maps driving mode offers one-tap access to phone calls, messages, and music apps, all from the same screen, while the navigation UI remains the core of the entire experience.
The driving mode is only available for Android and has recently been expanded to several new regions, presumably thanks to one of these recent updates (though keep in mind it’s also powered by a server-side switch as well).
Then, it’s the new routing model that Google has already announced and which the company is currently working on and probably refining with the latest Google Maps releases. The app would no longer determine the fastest route to a user-defined destination but try to look for a more fuel-efficient alternative, all in an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of each car. Users will still be allowed to re-enable the fastest route model as the default setting from the configuration screen.
The rollout of the latest Google Maps updates takes place gradually on the Google Play Store, but if you want to download the newest builds without waiting, you can find both the stable and the beta stand-alone APK installers.