Word is out about an impending design overhaul of the web version of Google Maps. According to blog Google Operating System, the search giant might introduce the new design of Google Maps at the upcoming Google I/O event. The design overhaul completely gets rid of the side-pane and opts for full-screen display for the map. It comes with new features, and the update puts it more in line with what one would expect to find on a tablet or smartphone app.
The new interface gets rid of the side pane
One of the new features will let you restrict your local search results to places recommended by top reviews or your circles on Google+. This shows a heavy push by Google towards its own social networking service. The new interface also seems to take some influence from the card-based interface elements found in Google Now. Along with all of this, the new interface also has new art assets.
Some interface elements are similar to cards from Google Now
It will be interesting to see if Google also introduces a new interface for the smartphone apps for Google Maps. It has been a long time since the last new design, which made its debut alongside Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Seeing as how Google has updated the Play Store on Android with a new design, it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to assume that a redesign for the Android app could be in the works. It would also help, since visual consistency is important for Google, at least for its own apps and services. We will only know more when Google I/O starts.