Google went all the way Google Maps"15th birthday last week. The American technology giant has not only overhauled the app's interface, but also redesigned the icon. Although the colossal change started rolling out to users last week, it is now finally available worldwide for Android and iOS.
If you haven't seen the new Google Maps logo, instead of 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 thin white background – a trend that we see more and more among the Silicon Valley giants.
If you don't see the new Google Maps logo on your home screen, it's probably worth going to the App Store or Play Store to see if the update can be downloaded manually.
Apart from a new logo, what's new in the latest version of Google Maps? Well, first of all, Google has updated the tabs at the bottom of the app. You will now see Explore, Commuting, Saved, Contributions and updates. Here is a brief overview of each:
• Discover: looking for a place nearby to have lunch, enjoy live music or play arcade games? The Explore tab provides information, ratings, reviews, and more for around 200 million places around the world, including local restaurants, nearby attractions, and city attractions.
• Commuter traffic: Whether you travel by car or public transport, the Commuter Traffic tab is there to ensure that you are on the most efficient route. Set up your daily commute to receive 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 in town to the famous restaurant during your upcoming vacation. Now you can view all of these places in one convenient place, find and plan plans for an upcoming trip and share recommendations based on places you've been.
• Contribute: Hundreds of millions of people contribute information every year to 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 helps many others learn about new places and decide what to do.
• Updates: the new Updates tab offers you a feed with trending, must-see spots from local experts and publishers, such as The Infatuation. In addition to discovering, saving and sharing recommendations with your network, you can also chat directly with companies to answer questions.
Google has made great strides when it comes to transportation information in Maps – the app tells you how busy your train will be to work and can even show you a live location of your bus or train in some circumstances. However, the American tech giant does not stop there. Google has announced a series of new transportation features that will be available for Maps next month, ranging from temperature information to labeling when security is on board.
Here is an overview of the new transport functions that are coming to Google Maps:
• Temperature: for a more comfortable ride, check in advance whether the temperature is considered by passers-by on the colder or warmer side.
• Accessibility: if you have special needs or need extra support, you can identify public transport lines with manned assistance, accessible access and seats, accessible stop button or highly visible LED.
• Ladies section: in regions where transit systems have designated ladies' sections or carriages, we help to bring this information to the surface, together with or other passengers.
• Security on board: feel safer if you know if security monitoring is on board – whether present with a guard, security cameras installed or an available helpline.
• Number of coaches available: only in Japan can you choose a route based on the number of coaches, thus increasing your chances of a seat.
Finally, Google also adds a simplified mode to the AR function for Maps. Users will soon have the option of displaying a single pin of their destination instead of showing directions to the left, right and center.
The Mountain View company has said the Live View update will appear in the coming months. But of course Express.co.uk will let you know when this update and all new transport functions are fully available.