Google Maps is celebrating it’s 15th birthday with a new look and new features

Undoubtedly one of the biggest improvements to our lives as a result of a technology, is the ability to navigate anywhere. The market leader in navigation is Google Maps...

Undoubtedly one of the biggest improvements to our lives as a result of a technology, is the ability to navigate anywhere. The market leader in navigation is Google Maps and celebrating their 15th birthday, the service is continuing to add new features.

Starting today, you’ll see an updated Google Maps app for Android and iOS that gives you everything you need at your fingertips with five easy-to-access tabs: Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute and Updates.

Explore
Looking for a place nearby to grab lunch, enjoy live music or play arcade games? In the Explore tab, you’ll find information, ratings, reviews and more for about 200 million places around the world, including local restaurants, nearby attractions and city landmarks. 

Commute
Whether you’re traveling by car or public transit, the Commute tab is there to make sure you’re on the most efficient route. Set up your daily commute to get real-time traffic updates, travel times and suggestions for alternative routes. 

Saved
People have saved more than 6.5 billion places on Google Maps—from the new bakery across town to the famous restaurant on your upcoming vacation. Now you can view all of these spots in one convenient place, as well as find and organize plans for an upcoming trip and share recommendations based on places you’ve been. 

Contribute
Hundreds of millions of people each year contribute information that helps keep Google Maps up to date. With the new Contribute tab, you can easily share local knowledge, such as details about roads and addresses, missing places, business reviews and photos. Each contribution goes a long way in helping others learn about new places and decide what to do. 

Updates
The new Updates tab provides you with a feed of trending, must-see spots from local experts and publishers, like The Infatuation. In addition to discovering, saving and sharing recommendations with your network, you can also directly chat with businesses to get questions answered.

There’ll be a visual update to the icon on your mobile app to parallel with the 15 year anniversary. This video below shows the evolution of the icon over time.

Over the coming months, Live View, the feature that allows you to scan the street around you and Maps then understands the direction you’re facing. You can then get an augmented reality experience, that will show you how far away and in which direction a place is.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
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