Google Maps is celebrating 15 years since its inception, and the company is introducing brand new features to celebrate the milestone. These new Google Maps' features for 2020 are about to make the app even more useful. The update includes an improved interface, a brand new Google Maps app icon, and new category tabs.
As of Thursday, Feb. 6, you'll notice some changes in Google Maps in Android and iOS. The new features in the app include an updated tab system, which makes everything a bit easier to navigate. Now, instead of three tabs at the bottom of the screen, you'll find five different tabs. These tabs include the original Explore and Commute tabs, but now you'll also see Saved, Contribute, and Updates.
The Explore tab is where you'll find places near you, like local restaurants, attractions, and city landmarks. If you're looking for a place to go near you, this is where you'll to go to find info, ratings, and reviews. The Commute tab shows you real-time traffic updates for your commute, as well as travel times and suggested alternate routes to get you to your location and back home as efficiently as possible.
The Saved tab lets you see your saved destinations in lists, such as favorites, places you want to go, and places you've starred. You can set these lists as private, as well as share them with others to plan out your group trip. This pre-existing feature is now a lot easier to access, and you can view all of the places you've saved in one spot.
The new Contribute tab gives you a place to share your knowledge with the Google Maps app to help keep it up to date. Update road details, addresses, and missing spots on the map, as well as write reviews and share photos from places you've visited. By contributing to Google reviews in Maps, other users get an idea of what a place is like before they make the visit.
Finally, the Updates tab combines Google Maps' recommendations for you, as well as the messages section, where you can message businesses with your questions. You'll also see trending spots picked for you by local experts and publishers, so you're getting solid destination suggestions.
For a limited-time, you'll see a birthday-themed party car when you start navigation. Plus, the Google Maps icon is getting a makeover with a multi-colored location marker, which represents the app's evolution over time.
Another new feature coming to Google Maps is called transit attributes. Starting in March, you can access these details about certain public transportation methods underneath the description of the transit location you're traveling to. It includes information about accessibility, the temperature inside the train car, and whether or not there is physical security or video surveillance on board. The info comes from past riders to make sure it's an accurate indicator of the conditions.