Google Maps has become the go-to mapping service, not just for Android users, but also on the web, and for many iPhone users, too. You might not be aware, however, just how old the service actually is. In fact, today is Google Maps’ 15th birthday — and Google is celebrating.
The company is celebrating in a few different ways — notably, with a new Google Maps icon. According to Google, Maps is about more than just helping people get from point A to point B these days. Now, the service is also about helping users discover new places and experiences.
Google is also making the Maps app a little more functional. Notably, the app will now be organized in five tabs, including Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute and Updates.
On top of that, the service is adding new details about your trip shared by past riders for public transportation. These details will include things like temperature, accessibility, security, and more. Further, the company is expanding the Live View, and offering additional features related to helping users search for a location. In the Live View, users will now quickly see exactly how far away their destination is and in which direction it is. Last but not least, for a limited time in Maps, you’ll see a party-themed car icon when you navigate.
Google is also highlighting features that you may not have known were already in Maps. For example, did you know that you can translate names and addresses in Maps by tapping on the speaker icon next to a name, after which Google Maps will speak it out in the local language. That could be helpful for travelers. Another handy feature is the ability to quickly see information about travel and flights, provided Google Assistant has access to it. In Maps, you can access that information by tapping on the three-line menu button and then tapping on the “Reservations” tab.
Maps will even help users find other, non-traditional forms of transportation — like bikes or scooters. To search for a bike or scooter nearby, simply search for “bikeshare” — after which you’ll be told where the nearest bike or scooter is, and how long it will take to get to its location. The feature is available in 24 cities around the world for bikes, or 80 cities around the world for Lime scooters.