Google Maps Picks Up a Fresh Look for Its 15th Birthday

An iPhone with the new Google Maps Updates tab showing a newly opened local restaurant.
Justin Duino

Hey everyone, want to feel old for a second? Google Maps, the service you depend on now to get you from your home to your mailbox and local Arby’s, is almost old enough to drive. Google Maps is 15 years old now, and in celebration of that fact, the company gave the iOS and Android apps a slight makeover.

It’s hard to believe that Google Maps has been around this long, but it really has. In honor of the big day, Google is introducing a new icon for Google Maps. The company seems pretty excited; it even posted a “through the years” type video showing off the various icon looks.

The new icon IS an improvement over the old one, which now looks stale in comparison. But Google wasn’t content with a new icon, it also changed up the look of the app, albeit mildly.

The five Google Maps tabs---Explore, Commute, Saved, Community, and Updates

Google Maps now has five tabs instead of three. “Explore” and “Commute” are still around, but the “For You” tab is now a “Saved” tab. Google added two new tabs as well: “Contribute” and “Updates.”

When you open the “Contribute” tab, you’ll find user-provided suggestions for restaurants, and local knowledge about addresses and even missing places not in Google Maps.

The “Updates” tab is all about trending places and must-see spots, perfect for new people in the area or anyone local looking for new things to do.

Google also announced two features that will come later this year, crowd-sourced information for public transit and an updated “Live View.” Live View will work as Augmented Reality assistance for walking directions. You’ll see overlayed icons to give you a general sense of which direction your destination is, and how to get there.

Finally, Google gave the car icon for driving directions a temporary new look. We haven’t seen it yet, but the company says it’s a celebratory design and will revert to the standard look in the future. Enjoy it while you can!

via Google

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »

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