Google Maps gets a makeover for its 15th birthday

Eric Abent - Feb 6, 2020, 9:28 am CST
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Google Maps gets a makeover for its 15th birthday

Google Maps is turning 15 years old today, and to celebrate, Google is rolling out an update for the app on iOS and Android. First and foremost, this update gives Google Maps something of a makeover by organizing “everything you need” into five different tabs that appear in a quick access bar at the bottom of the app. Those tabs are Explore, Community, Saved, Contribute, and Updates.

The Explore tab, as the name suggests, lets you find places of interest nearby when you may not have a specific one in mind. For instance, if you’re looking for something to eat but you’re not sure what’s in the area, you can use the Explore tab to see what’s around you, along with ratings and reviews from other users. The Commute tab, on the other hand, will let you find the most efficient route for the trip you’re about to take and allows you to save your daily commute to receive updates on traffic and suggestions for alternative routes.

The Saved tab is another self-explanatory one, as it lets you look through a list of all your saved places. The Contribute tab will let you “share local knowledge,” whether that’s adding information on missing places or uploading photos of businesses, and finally, the Updates tab will show a list of spots that are trending among “local experts and publishers.” You’ll also be able to chat with certain business through the Updates tab, should the need arise.

In addition to rolling out these new tabs, Google has also given the Maps logo a bit of a rework, which you can see in the video embedded above. Google is also launching some new features centered around public transportation today, which you’ll begin to see alongside routes when that information is available.

These features will tell you about the temperature in the public transport vehicle, accessibility options, security, and women’s sections in regions where transit systems designate them. It sounds like Google will also ask for feedback on public transit trips so it can share that information with other users, so keep an eye out for that.

Looking ahead, Google says that it will be improving Live View with new features that better help you find the location you’re looking for and how far away that location is from where you’re currently standing. You can read more about these new features over on Google’s blog, but otherwise, update the app and take them for a spin yourself.


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