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Google Maps beta adds notification channels for Android O

The latest Google Maps beta adds notification channel support for Android O and shows hints of the ability to download entire country maps.
June 16, 2017
The Google Maps icon on a smartphone.

The latest Google Maps beta v9.55 adds support for notification channels if you’re using a device running Android O. The functionality will obviously be coming to all devices when the O release arrives later this year and when the regular Maps app is updated in Google Play. It also looks like Maps will soon let you download entire country maps for offline use.

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If you install the beta on an Android O device, you’ll see almost 30 notification channels laid out for your prioritizing pleasure. You can customize their importance, sound and vibration settings, add app badges and set override abilities for Do Not Disturb mode. You’ve also got full control over the general notification types you get from Maps in the app’s settings.

The team at Android Police also did a teardown of the APK and found a couple of strings of code that indicate Google is working on adding the ability to download entire countries for offline access. While there’s no guarantee this feature will indeed make it to Maps in the near future, at the very least we know Google is working on it. Considering how popular offline maps are – and the frequency with which offline country map support is requested – it seems logical it won’t be too far away.