What you need to know
- Google Maps is celebrating its 15th birthday this week.
- To celebrate, Google has introduced a new icon for Maps, along with a few new features.
- The updated Google Maps app with the new look will begin rolling out on both iOS and Android today.
The world's most popular online mapping service, Google Maps is celebrating its fifteenth birthday this week. To mark the occasion, Google Maps is getting an all-new icon and a bunch of new features.
The most significant new change is the new Google Maps icon. It is based on the "pin", which has been a key part of Google Maps for a very long time. When you navigate with Google Maps this week, you may even see a celebratory party-themed car icon.
Google is also introducing a new navigation system in the Maps app for Android and iOS. You will now find five tabs at the bottom of the screen: Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute, and Updates. The "saved" tab replaces the "for you" tab and lets you view all the places that you have bookmarked on Google Maps.
With the new "Contribute" tab, users can share their local knowledge to help others learn about new places around them. The "Updates" tab will provide users with a feed of trending places from local experts as well as publishers.
Coming to the new features, Google will be expanding transit crowdedness predictions to help users plan their travels. You will soon be able to view details such as temperature, accessibility, whether a security guard is present, the number of carriages a train has, and if there is a designated women's section.
The Live View feature, which was introduced last year, is also getting an update. Over the coming months, users will be able to see how far away and in which direction their destination is, before starting turn-by-turn navigation.
While the updated Google Maps will begin rolling out worldwide today, the new public transit information and Live View features are expected to arrive next month.