Google Maps gets a major overhaul in celebration of its 15th birthday

Google is giving its Google Maps app for Android and iOS a refreshingly new look to celebrate the service’s 15th birthday. The biggest change is the new icon, which now looks more map-oriented as it resembles a pin that would normally be used to mark points on a map. A short video, posted on the Google Maps YouTube channel, documents the icon’s evolution over the past years.

The evolution of the Google Maps Logo. Source: YouTube

The app’s user interface has been redesigned to make the app easier to use. Users can now see 5 tabs at the bottom of the app: Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute, and Updates. These features emphasize discovering new places and recommending places, which align with Google’s plans for Google Maps to not only navigate you to your destination but also find new places of interest and rate your interest, eliminating the need for third-party services such as Yelp.

A redesigned user interface with 5 new tabs for ease of use. Source: Google Blog
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Last year, Google introduced two new features to Google Maps: trip attributes and Live View. When using public transport, users can rate their commute through short surveys. Google then uses those answers to predict conditions for future users.

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Rate your commute to help future commuters using the same route. Source: Google Blog

The Live View feature integrates with Google Street View to give users an augmented reality view of their position. This might come in handy if you want to know if you’re heading in the right direction but don’t need the full turn-by-turn voice guidance.

Integration with Street View allows users to see their real-time surroundings in augmented reality. Source: Google Blog

This is an ongoing update, and some of these features may only be available in March, according to Gadgets 360. Also, the availability of certain features may be subject to geographic location, meaning some territories might not get full feature support.

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