Navigation drawers in apps are becoming increasingly pointless, particularly with conflicting gestures on Android 10. Google moved first-party services from side navigation to bottom bars for its part. Google Maps is the latest app to check such a redesign.
Several users have installed a markedly different Google Maps layout on Android over the past day (including in the US and Spain). The hamburger button to the left of the search field is gone, and the bottom bar has two new tabs in it.
Google has added to the profile switcher some navigation drawer items. Below your account list and the ability to switch on incognito mode is “Your Timeline,” “Location Sharing,” “Offline Maps,” and “Settings,” as Google Photos transferred its backup status indicator to the account page this week.
“Explore” and “Commute” remain for primary navigation, while “For you” now looks like “Latest” with the same red notification / updates button. The former was in the nav drawer and is now easier to access, while the latter allows Local Guides to add reviews, images, and more. With this lower bar redesign of maps Google’s crowdsource program sees quite an increase in value.
In answer to gesture navigation this is obviously the way for Google apps— and how the swipe to show drawers action is now often interpreted as back / return. The trend of adding more features to the account switcher is also quite new, but it makes for a rather long list.
It’s certainly more elegant than just moving what doesn’t fit in the bottom bar to a “More” tab (like the Google app), but it’s equally confusing to split parts— and see users in multiple places. The change in today’s maps is not yet widely rolled out, and will probably see more tweaking rounds before that.