Regardless of which navigation app you prefer, there’s no denying the prevalence of Google Maps. The navigation app will be celebrating its 15th birthday over the weekend. And in conjunction, Google has announced a few changes coming to the app.
One is the change in its app icon. Starting tomorrow, Google Maps will be using a simpler icon, while retaining the pin that you’ll often see within the app itself.
Other more significant changes include having five buttons at the bottom of the screen, rather than just the current two, which Explore and Commute. The other three are Saved, Contribute, and Updates. Two of them, namely Saved and Contribute, are actually existing features, currently known as “your places” and “your contributions”. They will be brought out to Google Maps’ main screen to make them more accessible.
Updates, as the name of the feature suggests, will let you know if something has popped up in your vicinity. This could range from a new eatery opening up near you, or the closure of a road you use to commute to and from work. For those who are concerned about privacy, related settings will also be made more easily accessible.
Also, if you often make use of public transport, you’ll occasionally crowd predictions for a particular part of your trip. Google says that it will be adding more details such as this to Maps, including temperature and availability of women-only cars when applicable, among others.
Most of these changes for Google Maps will begin rolling out tomorrow. As for the transit details, they will be rolling out in March instead.