Google Maps Turns 15, Gets New Features, Icon

Posted on February 6, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Google, iOS, Mobile with 7 Comments

Google this week is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the launch of Google Maps by adding several new features to the service. It’s even getting a hip new icon.

“Since 2005, we’ve pushed the limits of what a map can do, from helping you easily navigate from point A to B, to helping you explore and get things done in the world,” Google’s Dane Glasgow writes. “With more than 1 billion people turning to Google Maps to see and explore the world, we’re celebrating our 15th birthday with a new look and product updates based on feedback from you.”

Here’s what’s new.

Updated mobile app. Google Maps is being updated on Android and iOS with a new user interface that features five tabs—Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute, and Updates—replacing the previous two (Explore and Commute).

New icon. The new Google Maps icon is based on the ubiquitous “pin” UI that the service has used since the early days, but done up in colorful Google colors.

New transit insights. Building off of the crowd predictions it introduced last year, Google Maps will now provide transit information about temperature, accessibility, women’s’ sections, onboard security, and, in Japan only, the number of carriages available on each train.

Live View improvements. Live View combines Street View’s real-world imagery with machine learning and smartphone sensors to create an augmented reality experience. And it’s being enhanced this year with new capabilities, starting with better assistance when searching for a place.

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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Google Maps Turns 15, Gets New Features, Icon”

  1. brduffy

    I have never been happy with how Google and Apple handle offline maps. If you were to load your location online while at home for instance and then start your journey then it will take you there without internet access which is good. But I prefer to have maps downloaded to my phone by region and updated periodically so that I can load a destination while out on the road without internet access. Google and Apple have a way to choose a region but the implementation is crappy and its more trouble than its worth. I use Here WeGo maps for this purpose and it works pretty well. I can download the entire US and put it on my phone if I want, though I choose to just downloads states around me. Still, I would rather see Apple and Google do things this way so I can hook up my phone to my car play and view my maps on the built in screen.

  2. nicholas_kathrein

    Nice. Maps is one of those apps that can be unappreciated but it's vital.