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Google launches new Maps app but retires Latitude check-in service

Google Maps gets tablet design plus new search and navigation tools

New Google Maps for tablet

Google has launched a new version of its Google Maps app and has said it will retire its Latitude service.

The new Google Maps app is available for Android smartphones and tablets and will be coming to iPhone and iPad soon. The internet search giant said it builds on the iPhone version released last year and improves on it with new search and navigation features.

See also: 5 of the best apps for travel on smartphones and tablets.

5 of the best apps for travel on smartphones and tablets - See more at: http://www.techadvisor.co.uk/features/software/5-of-best-apps-for-travel/#sthash.VNvUbeHJ.dpuf

On a sadder note, Google Latitude is no longer a feature of Maps and will be retired fully on 9 August. As a sort of replacement, the firm is adding location sharing and check-ins to Google+ for Android. The feature will be introduced to the iOS version soon.

Back to Google Maps and the app has an Explore feature which uses Google Now style cards to find local places to eat, sleep, drink and shop. This is accompanied by ratings, curated lists from Zagat and local offers. See also: Next-generation Kindle Fire tablets to launch later this year.

Improved navigation comes in the form of clickable incident reports. When driving, Maps will alter you to a better route to your destination – only available on Android for now.

The Google Maps redesign includes a new look for tablet users which Google says makes it more "fluid, smooth and fun".

Google said: "The offline maps feature for Android is also no longer available. Instead we’ve created a new way for you to access maps offline by simply entering “OK Maps” into the search box when viewing the area you want for later."

A super quick update means that Google has now added a 'Make this map area available offline' card below the search box to make it easier to access after users complained.

My Maps functionality isn't supported in this Google Maps but will return to future versions of the app, according to Google.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

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