In today’s Google Blog post, Google is celebrating its Maps platform’s 15th birthday with a new look for the Google Maps app, along with a whole new app icon.
Google Maps first launched in 2005, back before Android and iOS even existed. Once Android came around, one of its selling points was that Android users had a free way to get turn-by-turn directions during a time when TomTom and Garmin sold its GPS units, and US carriers charged subscription fees to use their own turn-by-turn maps on feature phones. The following video shows a quick evolution of the Google Maps icon.
A new look is coming to Google Maps, starting with the removal of the hamburger menu. Instead, the app will get two more tabs at the bottom for a total of five. Here’s what each one offers.
Transit features are also getting updated. In addition to live arrival times and crowdedness predictions, Google Maps will offer new aspects of traveling via public transit.
Transit riders will now be able to see temperature in advance so they can anticipate whether they should dress cool or bundle up. There is also new accessibility information that lets riders know which train or bus lines offer accessible entrances and whether there are attendants to help disabled passengers.
For specific regions, there’s a Women’s section which offers information about transit lines with designated women’s sections. There’s also new Security info which lets you know which parts of the transit system are monitored by either cameras or a live security guard.
Finally, Japanese transit riders will be able to choose a route based on the number of carriages so they can make sure they can find a seat.
Google is going to expand its availability of Live View navigation “over the coming months”. It expects to enable new capabilities and features for Live View.
You can download the update now on iOS or Android, but the only thing that immediately changed for us was the app icon. The new layout will probably happen server-side so it might just pop-up suddenly.
I have been using the 'Your Timeline' feature for 12 months. I can't find it in the upgraded app on my android phone. The hamburger button is there with a question mark. What does that mean?
I'm really excited to try the Live View feature. Hopefully, it's already available for cities like New York.
Google Maps just keeps getting worse and worse. The map is overlayed with some many things trying to shove non-map information in front of your face only half of the screen is left for the map anymore. You have to waste time constantly getting this s...