Google Maps v9.71 Beta Prepares For User-Submitted Road Names, Battery Level Info, and More
Google Maps is one of the best-known Google apps in Android. It’s a feature-rich navigation app with turn-by-turn directions and offline maps, and it’s only gotten better in recent years. Maps v9.71 beta was released today, and as usual, it doesn’t have a lot of prominent visual changes. However, we did an APK teardown of the app, and found string changes related to public transit guidance, battery level accessibility information, user-submitted road names, and more. There is a lot to cover, so let’s get into it.
Submit road names
<string name="ADDRESS_REDIRECT_DIALOG_CANCEL">Submit this road name</string> <string name="ADDRESS_REDIRECT_DIALOG_MESSAGE">This name looks like it might be a specific street address instead of the name of the street itself. Do you still want to submit it?</string> <string name="ADDRESS_REDIRECT_DIALOG_REDIRECT">Edit the address instead</string> <string name="ADDRESS_REDIRECT_DIALOG_TITLE">Is this an address or road name?</string>
As of right now, the only way users can add missing roads to Google Maps is by submitting feedback to Google. (Google’s Map Maker service, which let users edit and moderate place and road info, shut down in 2017.) New strings in the Maps 9.71 beta hint that users might be able to submit road names in the future, though it’s worth noting that submitting road names is different from adding missing roads.
When a user submits a road name, Maps will prompt the user with the question, “Is this an address or road name?” If the user-submitted name is a street address instead of a road name, it’ll follow up with a “Do you still want to submit it?” prompt, and ask the user to specify whether it’s an address or road name.
Battery level accessibility information
<string name="BATTERY_LEVEL_KNOWN_AND_CHARGING_ACCESSIBILITY_TEXT" formatted="false">"%s's battery level is between %s%% and %s%% and is charging."</string> <string name="BATTERY_LEVEL_KNOWN_AND_NOT_CHARGING_ACCESSIBILITY_TEXT" formatted="false">"%s's battery level is between %s%% and %s%% and is not charging."</string> <string name="BATTERY_LEVEL_UNKNOWN_ACCESSIBILITY_TEXT">"%s's battery level is unknown"</string>
It’s difficult to determine what these strings are related to. It could be that Maps will announce device battery level to users who use text-to-speech accessibility services like Google TalkBack, including the percentage remaining. If that’s the case, it’ll also let them know whether the phone is charging or not. And if it can’t determine the battery level, it’ll say that it’s “unknown”.
Commute destination and ETA
<string name="COMMUTE_DESTINATION">to %s</string> <string name="COMMUTE_ETA">Arrive at %s</string> <string name="COMMUTE_FOOTER_NOTHING_TO_SAVE_CANCEL_BUTTON">Cancel</string <string name="COMMUTE_IMMERSIVE_LOADING">Getting real-time traffic...</string>
It seems that these strings don’t add any features, but simply polish the existing commute experience by adding new messages. Maps will let the user know when it’s getting real-time traffic information.
Public transit commute
<string name="TRANSIT_COMMUTE_V2_MORE_DEPARTURES">More departures</string> <string name="TRANSIT_COMMUTE_V2_MORE_DEPARTURES_CONTENT_DESCRIPTION" formatted="false">More departures to %s from %s</string> <string name="TRANSIT_COMMUTE_V2_MORE_ROUTES_BUTTON_CONTENT_DESCRIPTION">More routes to %s</string> <string name="TRANSIT_COMMUTE_V2_TIME_TO_DESTINATION_CONTENT_DESCRIPTION" formatted="false">%s at %s</string> <string name="TRANSIT_COMMUTE_V2_TITLE_CONTENT_DESCRIPTION">Routes to %s</string> <string name="TRANSIT_GUIDANCE_NOTIFICATION_ACTION_SHARE_TRIP">Share Trip</string> <string name="TRANSIT_GUIDANCE_NOTIFICATION_ARRIVED_TIME">Arrived at %1$s</string>
The strings indicate that Google is improving the public transit feature of Maps. The app will provide more routes to destinations, more departures to and from specific locations, and estimated time to destinations. It will also show a notification that’ll let users share their public transit trip, and another that’ll inform users what time they’ve arrived at the destination.
<string name="TRANSIT_STATION_CREATE_SHORTCUT_MENU_ITEM">Create shortcut to %1$s</string> <string name="TRANSIT_STATION_CREATE_SHORTCUT_TOOLTIP">Come here often? Create a shortcut</string>
Previous Google Maps APKs have shown that Google is working on shortcuts for the Maps start screen. Although they haven’t gone live yet, the new strings indicate that users will be able to create shortcuts to transit stations in the future. Maps will prompt them with the message, “Come here often? Create a shortcut.”
<string name="FINDING_RIDE_SERVICES">Finding ride services...</string> <string name="SHARE_PLACE_LABEL">Share place</string>
The first string adds to existing strings that govern the ride services experience, while the second string is an addition to existing strings that let users share places.
Let us know in the comments if you spot anything new, and follow our APK Teardown tag for more articles like this.