As part of its 15th birthday celebrations this year, Google Maps is getting a ton of new features on both Android and iOS. According to Google, the revamped new app will offer “everything you need at your fingertips with five easy-to-access tabs: Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute, and Updates.”
While Explore and Commute tabs were already available, the three other options are new and have been added to the list by nixing the ‘For You’ tab. Here’s a brief about what the five tabs to offer:
- Explore – According to Google, the Explore tab now has information, ratings, reviews and more for about 200 million places around the world, including local restaurants, nearby attractions and city landmarks.
- Commute – The Commute tab, says Google, offers users the “most efficient route” for commuters irrespective of whether they are traveling by private transport or public transit. It also offers users the ability to set up their daily commute to get real-time traffic updates, travel times and suggestions for alternative routes.
- Saved – According to Google, people have saved more than 6.5 billion places on Google Maps, and users will now be able to view all of these spots in one convenient place, as well as find and organize plans for an upcoming trip and share recommendations based on places they’ve been to.
- Contribute – With the new Contribute tab, users 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”, says Google.
- Updates – The new Updates tab provides users with a feed of trending, must-see spots from local experts and publishers. In addition to discovering, saving and sharing recommendations, users can also directly chat with businesses to get their questions answered.
Google Maps is also getting a new icon that the company says reflects the evolution of the app over the years. “It’s based on a key part of Google Maps since the very beginning – the pin – and represents the shift we’ve made from getting you to your destination to also helping you discover new places and experiences,” said the company.
In addition to the above features, Google is also adding some more relatively minor, but thoughtful features to its mapping app, including the ability to check the temperature on their route, the availability (or lack thereof) of dedicated women’s carriages or seats on public transport, the presence of police or security guards, and more. All of this info has been crowdsourced and will appear alongside public transit routes when available.
In a fun twist, Google also says that to celebrate the 15th birthday of Google Maps, it will soon introduce a celebratory party-themed car icon that will be available for a limited time when users navigate with Google Maps. We will keep an eye out for that and let you know when that happens.