Google has been rolling out Material You redesigns for its apps for the last few weeks now. In some apps, like YouTube Music, Google Keep, and Google Drive, Google also added new widgets alongside the design changes. Similarly, Google is also adding a new search widget in Google Maps.
We first spotted the in-development widget in an APK teardown of Google Maps v11.0.1 late last month. Now, Reddit user u/neilAndNotNail reports that it has started rolling out (via @MishaalRahman) to some users. The new Google Maps search widget looks a lot like the search widget that rolled out on Google Maps for iOS in August this year. It features a search bar at the top with four or eight navigation shortcuts underneath to help users quickly start navigating to home, work, a nearby gas station, a restaurant, and more.
As you can see in the attached screenshots, the new Google Maps search widget is dynamic. It adjusts the number of navigation shortcuts displayed underneath the search bar based on its size. However, it doesn’t show more than eight shortcuts, no matter how large you make it. The Google Maps search widget also supports dynamic theming on devices running Android 12. But it reverts to blue accent colors like Google’s other widgets on devices running Android 11.
The new search widget appears to be rolling out with Google Maps v11.3.0. However, it’s not available on any of our devices at the moment. We’ll make sure to let you know as soon as it starts rolling out more widely.
The new Google Maps search widget comes just a few days after Google added Eco-friendly routing to the app, released Lite navigation for cyclists, and expanded bike and scooter share information to over 300 cities. For more information about this feature, check out our previous coverage by following the link above.