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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Mobile Apps

Getting started with the new Google Maps

Google Maps 9.0 for Android and iOS brings a handful of new and useful features with its Material redesign.

Google Maps 9.0. Nicole Cozma/CNET

In July of this year, Google added voice commands and elevation information to the Maps app, but the design remained the same. This time, the update to version 9.0 -- rolling out over the next few days -- brings you a Material interface (for Android Lollipop), and a couple of new features.

These new Maps features include the ability to make restaurant reservations, and also how to find the quickest and cheapest commute with the help of Uber. Here's how to use each:

Reserving a table

Make a reservation with OpenTable. Google

When looking up a place to eat, whether through the recently relocated Explore button on the main map screen or by name, you may want to also make a reservation. If the restaurant is participating in OpenTable's service, you can grab a table directly through Google Maps.

Scroll down on the information sheet for the restaurant and you will see the Find a table area. You can choose a date, time, and number of guests. The app will automatically display reservation times you can tap on that are closest to the one you provided. After making all of these selections, you'll need to provide your personal information to confirm the reservation.

Getting there

Uber information in transportation times. Google

Now that you have someplace to be at a specific time, you may want to find the easiest way to get there. If you're using public transit, or simply walking, then Google can help you figure out which path will cost the least time and money.

In addition to these routes, Google Maps 9.0 will also provide quotes for Uber car service, including wait time, travel time, and cost. This feature is only available when you have the Uber app installed on your device and the service is available in the requested area.

What do you think of the new changes? Liking the new design? Leave your thoughts in the comments.