To celebrate its 15th birthday, Google Maps is rolling out a brand new look and updates based on feedback from users.
It’s hard to believe that Google Maps has been around since 2005, but it’s true. The little app we all take for granted every day has been mapping the world for 15 whole years! And today, Google Maps helps more than 1 billion people see and explore the world. To celebrate its birthday, Google Maps is getting a new look and some new features.
Starting today, users will get to use a new Google Maps app for Android and iOS that gives them everything they need, all easily accessible. Cue, five tabs: Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute and Updates.
Explore: The Explore tab will help you find information, ratings, reviews and a lot more, for over 200 million places around the globe, like restaurants, attractions, or landmarks.
Commute: The Commute tab is where you can plan your daily journeys more efficiently, making sure you’re on the best route, whether you’re using a car or public transport. You can even set up your usual daily commute to receive real-time traffic updates, travel times, and alternative route suggestions.
Saved: The Saved tab lets you find all the places people have saved on Google Maps – all 6.5 billion of them. Whether it’s a new bakery just down the road or a cool restaurant in a different city, you can find them both very easily in one place.
Contribute: The new Contribute tab will let you join the hundreds of millions of users who contribute information that helps keep Google Maps up to date, especially with local knowledge including details about roads and addresses, missing places, or business reviews.
Updates: The new Updates tab gives you a feed of trending spots that local experts and publishers suggest you should visit. Furthermore, you can also chat directly to businesses through the app, as well as discover, save and share recommendations.
To tie the new design together, Google Maps is also getting a new icon that’s based on “a key part of Google Maps since the very beginning—the pin.” As Dane Glasgow, Google Maps’ VP of Product, explains, it “represents the shift we’ve made from getting you to your destination to also helping you discover new places and experiences.”
New insights about your route
Last year, Google Maps brought a new feature that predicted how crowded your bus, train or subway would likely be based on past rides. Now the app is getting new insights about a route from past riders, so you can get information like:
Temperature: Lets you check if past riders have found the temperature on the route to be warm or cold.
Accessibility: Lets you get information about staffed assistance, accessible entrances and seating, accessible stop-button or hi-visible LED, and other accessibility features if you have special needs or require additional support.
Women’s Section: Lets you find out where there are designated women’s sections or carriages, in some countries.
Security Onboard: Lets you know if security monitoring is on board. This could be a security guard, security cameras, or an available helpline.
Number of carriages available: Lets you pick routes based on the number of available carriages so you may have better chances of getting a seat. This feature will only be available in Japan.
Google Maps will begin rolling out these features in March, and availability will vary by region and municipal transportation agency.
Expanded Live View
Google Maps introduced Live View last year, allowing you to more easily decide which way to go when walking and using the app. Live View combines Street View’s real-world imagery, machine learning, and smartphone sensors, showing you your surroundings and directions overlaid in AR.
In the next few months, Google Maps will expand Live View and test new capabilities – better assistance whenever you’re searching for a place like showing you how far away and in which direction it is.
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