Google went all out for Google Maps’ 15th birthday last week. The US technology giant not only overhauled the interface of the app, but also redesigned its icon too. Although the colossal change started to roll-out to users last week, it’s now finally available worldwide on Android and iOS.
If you haven’t seen the new Google Maps logo, instead of showing a G sign, with a street and a pin, it now shows a single pin with the typical Google shades of green, yellow, blue and red. On iOS, the app has a sparse white background – a trend we’re seeing more and more from the Silicon Valley giants.
If you don’t see the new Google Maps logo on your home screen, it’s probably worth heading into the App Store or Play Store and seeing if the update can be downloaded manually.
Apart from a new logo, what’s new in the latest edition of Google Maps? Well, first and foremost Google has revamped the tabs displayed at the bottom of the app. Now you’ll see Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute and Updates. Here’s a brief overview of each:
• Explore: Looking for a place nearby to grab lunch, enjoy live music or play arcade games? In the Explore tab, you’ll find information, ratings, reviews and more for about 200 million places around the world, including local restaurants, nearby attractions and city landmarks.
• Commute: Whether you’re travelling by car or public transit, the Commute tab is there to make sure you’re on the most efficient route. Set up your daily commute to get real-time traffic updates, travel times and suggestions for alternative routes.
• Saved: People have saved more than 6.5 billion places on Google Maps –from the new bakery across town to the famous restaurant on your upcoming vacation. Now you can view all of these spots in one convenient place, as well as find and organise plans for an upcoming trip and share recommendations based on places you’ve been.
• Contribute: Hundreds of millions of people each year contribute information that helps keep Google Maps up to date. With the new Contribute tab, you can easily share local knowledge, such as details about roads and addresses, missing places, business reviews and photos. Each contribution goes a long way in helping others learn about new places and decide what to do.
• Updates: The new Updates tab provides you with a feed of trending, must-see spots from local experts and publishers, like The Infatuation. In addition to discovering, saving and sharing recommendations with your network, you can also directly chat with businesses to get questions answered.
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Google has made huge strides when it comes to transport information in Maps – the app already tells you how crowded your train to work will be and can even show you a live location of your bus or train in some circumstances. The American tech giant isn’t stopping there though. Google has announced a swathe of new transport features that will start rolling out for Maps next month ranging from temperature information to labelling when there is security on board.
Here’s an overview of the new transport features coming to Google Maps:
• Temperature: For a more comfortable ride, check in advance if the temperature is considered by past riders as on the colder or warmer side.
• Accessibility: If you have special needs or require additional support, you can identify public transit lines with staffed assistance, accessible entrance and seating, accessible stop-button or hi-visible LED.
• Women’s Section: In regions where transit systems have designated women’s sections or carriages, we’ll help surface this information along with whether other passengers abide by it.
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