It is already 15 years gone since Google Maps spread its impression into our digital lives and helped us get around new places & many more. For celebrating its 15th anniversary, Google is publishing a new version of its navigation app. The features are now more streamlined into five, easy-to-access tabs. Google also launched a new icon “that reflects the evolution we’ve made mapping the world. And of course, they’re also bringing more transit features to help you go around your city or the place you’re visiting.
Google Maps was first introduced in 2005, back before Android and iOS even existed. When Android came around, one of its selling points was that Android users had a free way to get turn-by-turn directions during a time when TomTom and Garmin sold its GPS units, and US carriers charged subscription fees to use their own turn-by-turn maps on feature phones.
A new interface is coming in Google Maps New Update, starting with the removal of the hamburger menu. Instead, the app will get two more tabs at the bottom for a total of five. Here’s what each one offers.
- Explore: The Explore tab helps us to discover new places nearby based on our personal recommendations, including information, ratings, and reviews for more than 200 places around the world.
- Commute: Commute is where we will find all the navigation tools that we need, whether we’re in your car or riding a bus or train, with real-time updates, travel times, alternate routes, etc. This tab also helps us to find the best way to make it back home or back to work quickly.
- Saved: This is where we’ll find our saved places, reservations, so we can organize our next trip or just remember the places we visited or want to visit. We can also share recommendations to our friends of those places where we’ve visited.
- Contribute: Contribute is the place for the users who love sharing local knowledge and missing places & share details about addresses as well as reviews and photos of the places they visited.
- Updates: Updates is a new tab where we’ll see trending places, must-see spots from both local experts and publishers. We can also chat with business owners in this tab.
Read Also: India’s Home-Grown Positioning System: IRNSS
1. Google Maps New Update With New Logo
The new logo appears like a pin, which is much more topical to Google Maps if you pay attention. This is the first time when Google has ever updated the new Maps logo. Here’s a short timeline of how Google Map’s logo has evolved.
2. Introduction to New Categories
Before this update, Google Maps only consisted of Explore, Commute and For You sections. But now we can see some more new features including Saved, Updates and Contribute tabs. We can also add restaurant reviews etc. in the ‘Your Contributions’ section.
The new Google account switcher in the top right corner will help us to access the rest of the missing entries from the hamburger menu, like Timeline, location sharing, and offline maps.
3. Google Maps New Update: Live View
Google has also teased improvements to Live View, the AR-powered walking navigation mode it introduced last year. A new button will soon appear when you search for places that allow you to enter Live View without navigation. The feature will let you see where and how far away the location is in the real world.
4. Information about Public Transportation
Starting in March, Google also wants to roll out public transport crowdedness predictions internationally, a feature that estimates how full your bus or tram will be on your way to work thanks to the aggregation of user reports. After using transit navigation, you might be asked to fill out surveys that help Google collect and analyze data not only on crowdedness, but also on temperature, accessibility, security onboard, and the number of carriages available. This has previously only been available in about 200 cities around the globe.
Google has additionally posted several blogs for Maps’ birthday. Check them out to get an overview of the service’s history, a collection of the best 15 Street Views, the Maps team’s plans for the next 15 years, and Sundar Pichai’s reflection on the last 15 years of mapping the world. The CEO has also shared a map of his top 18 vegetarian burrito spots all around the globe.
Screenshots of Google Maps New Update
First people report they’ve received the new icon as part of an app update, but the redesigned UI isn’t active for everyone on that latest version just yet — it looks like it’s a server-side change.
To make the jarring transition away from the hamburger menu easier, Google has included a clever grayed-out version of the button in the new design that shows hints where the sidebar content has moved when you tap it.