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Say Hello to a Trendier, More Convenient Google Maps App

15 years old already! Google is celebrating its 15th birthday, and the tech giant is celebrating by launching a brand new, updated version of Google Maps. Google has updated Maps with a fresh new logo that is simpler than its predecessor. Instead of featuring roads and streets, the Google Maps logo is a minimalistic, multicolored, dropped pin. According to The Mountain View, Google opted for this design because a dropped pin has been an integral part of Google Maps since the beginning.

Google Maps in the app you will find on almost all smartphones. Google Maps, apart from serving as a utility to users, is also a service that collaborates and provides services to other popular applications such as Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, etc. to offer these applications necessary location data.

Google explained that they are updating the look with a new Google Maps icon that symbolizes the revolution Google has made mapping the world. The dropped pin based on a crucial part of Google Maps since the very beginning. It also represents the shift they have made from getting people from one destination to another to also helping them discover new experiences and places.

Google is not stopping at the new logo design, though. The California-based company also revamped its entire Maps interface. Now, after loading up the application, the users will be presented with five primary tabs at the bottom, namely Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute, and Updates.

On Google Map’s 15th birthday, the company CEO Sundar Pichai has also listed out some of his favorite places around the world. In his dedicated blog post, he expressed his immense love for burritos while talking about the updates and features coming to Maps. According to Pichai, all the favorites marked by him are eating joints, and they serve the ‘best’ burritos in the world. The list shared by Sundar in the blog post talks about 18 places, including one in Mumbai.

Pichai said that he enjoys it when he can combine both of these interests by hunting down a good and local veggie burrito. Burritos are one of the things that help him feel normal when jet-lagged between time zones. Over the years, a burrito-fanatic Sundar has discovered some great burrito places. In honor of Map’s 15th birthday, he curated a list of his favorites on Google Maps, accessible to all.

Later, Pichai moved from burritos and talked about the Google Maps technology that helps him find the perfect eating joint. The company has also introduced various interactive features and a bunch of changes and updates on its Google Maps application on both IOS and Android devices.

The new update

The latest update brings five new tabs- Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute, and Updates. These news tabs are interactive and make it easy for users to commute and explore new places. The user interface (UI) has been redesigned as well in addition to the new logo that resembles the rest of the logos of other service applications by Google, like Google AI, Files Go, Google Cloud, Google Fi, Google Fit, Google Photos, Google Lens and others.

According to the team at Google, the new layout is specifically designed to encourage users to contribute to the improvement and accuracy of Google Maps and the data it has to offer. Here is some information about the new tabs:

1. Explore: If you are looking for a place nearby to grab a bite, enjoy live music or play arcade games, this tab will help you out. In the explore tab, you will find information, reviews, ratings, and more for more than 200 million places around the world, including nearby attractions, local restaurants, and city landmarks.

2. Commute: The Commute tab is there to help users make sure that they are on the most efficient route. Whether they are traveling by car or public transit, the new feature allows users to set up their daily commute to get real-time traffic updates, travel time, time of arrival and suggestions for alternative routes. 

3. Saved: Users all over the world have saved more than 6.5 billion places on Google Maps—from new bakeries across the street to the famous restaurant they want to visit on their next vacation. Now, you can see all of these spots curated at one convenient place, as well as organize plans for an upcoming trip and share recommendations based on places you have been. 

4. Contribute: The hundreds of millions of users around the world keep Google Maps up-to-date by contributing information to the database. With this new tab, users can easily share their knowledge about local places and details about addresses, streets, and roads, missing places, business reviews, and pictures. Each contribution helps other users to learn about new places and pick out an activity to do. 

5. Updates: This tab provides users with a feed featuring the trending, must-visit spots from local experts and publishers. In addition to discovering, saving, and sharing reviews and recommendations with their network, users can also directly chat with businesses to get answers to their questions.

More features on the way

Google has announced its plans on an array of new transportation features for Maps that would help to make users’ commute a little bit easier and convenient for them. The features include the ability to see the temperature of public transport. These features will start rolling out across the world in March.

1. Temperature: Now, users can check the temperature in advance before boarding the ride for a comfortable journey. 

2. Accessibility: If users have any special needs or require additional support, they can identify public transit lines with staff assistance, accessible seating and entrance, accessible stop-button, and hi-visible LED. 

3. Security: Users can now feel safer knowing if the security is being monitored on board. They can now check if there are security guards present, security cameras installed, and if there is an available helpline. 

A more comfortable traveling experience

Last but not least, Google is upgrading the augmented reality (AR) feature in Maps with a simplified mode that will show the location of a destination without cluttering the screen with a host of unnecessary host of direction icons. The feature will arrive soon in the upcoming months.

All these new features will be available for both IOS and Android devices. As of now, the new design is open to all users to enhance their traveling and daily commuting experience.

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