Google is celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Maps, and on the occasion, it has a new look and several new features.
Most noticeable is the brand new app icon and the new icon tabs at the bottom of the app. The new updates are designed to make it easier to get around, discover new places that interest you, find those favorites more easily, and help others discover it too.
The Explore icon makes finding new places easier. It brings up bars, restaurants, upcoming events and event activity recommendations based on your location. If you’re somewhere unfamiliar, simply click the icon for suggestions on where to go or what to do.
Can’t quite find the place? Click on LiveView for directions via augmented reality. Maps uses the view from your camera, your location details and machine learning to point you in the right direction. Naturally, this function is only available when in walking mode.
The Commute icon has been optimized to work with a variety of new transport options like motorcycles, ride-sharing services and current transportation options. It now offers not just updates on traffic but on how congested it is on trains, buses, and taxis. It’s also designed to work with multiple modes of transport, to find out the best combination of driving, trains, buses, taxis, or even walking to get to where you need to go. Let your friends or office mates know you’re gonna be late or possibly even early with Share Location to send them a link of where you are and your ETA.
If your going to a place you’ve been to before, or want to keep going back to in the future, Google Maps lets you add it to your List. This is a digital list of places that can be navigated to more easily.
Feeling lucky? Click on For You. This is a list of places and activities based on your preferences and interests with a score that may determine how much you’ll enjoy them.
Google Maps has also bee updated to work offline or when a signal will be weak or intermittent. The offline mode lets you save and download maps so you can still receive turn-by-turn guides wherever you are. Or download when you’re connected to WiFi to save on data charges.
Want an expert opinion? Local Guides is a community of travelers who provide useful information from reviews to recommendations. You can also be one yourself and contribute to earn exciting rewards. If you’ve spotted an error, you can also edit details or correct business information by using Report a Problem or Send Feedback tool in the app.
Finally, use Google Maps to grow your business by creating a free website through Google My business. This allows business owners to add and manager their business listings on Maps. They can also respond to reviews, answer questions and add photos to their listings.