Google Maps and many of the over a billion people who turn to Google’s app globally each month to do more than navigation guidance turn 15.
Chances are, you’re among the users, even if most of your time in Maps is spent working out how to get from point A to point B.
Google changed its icon to emphasize the evolution of the Maps. More than 220 countries have been mapped over 15 years, and Google says it has surfaced information approximately over 200 million places and information.
Google has refreshed the look of the Android and iOS versions of its Maps app as part of the birthday milestone. Most notably, the three tabs that appear on the bottom of the screen now become five.
The Explore tab provides information and ratings, and the Commute tab offers traffic and travel times.
Another new feature is the Saved button, where users can review all the places they have been at or may want to go in one place. Google says that users have saved more than 6.5 billion places on Google Maps.
The Contribute tab allows users to share what they know with others: reviews of photos, businesses, details about addresses and roads. According to Google, hundreds of millions of people each year contribute information that aids keep Maps fresh.
A new Update tab is where users can learn about trending spots from supposed publishers and experts.
Over the next few days, Google is rolling out the new Google Maps.
Here are 15 other Google tips on things users can or will be able to do within Google Maps.
- Translate addresses and place names
When you tap the speaker icon located next to an address or place name, Google Maps will speak out loud in the local language.
- Go private
Don’t want to save your Maps searches? Choose Incognito Mode, and Google won’t save them. However, you’ll lose out on some personalization. You may also want to choose auto-delete controls within your Location History to keep 3 or 18 months of data. According to Google, they will automatically delete anything older than that.
- Avoid ferries, tolls, highways
Tap the three dots at the top right corner in the navigation mode of the app and look for “Route options” to choose the route types you want to avoid.
- Share your live location and ETA
Tap the ^ button and then “Share trip progress” once you’ve started on your journey to do so with designated contacts.
- Find a scooter or bike
In the search bar, you can enter a bike-share or find available bikes in real-time. Google Maps can tell if a Lime scooter is available along with an estimate of the cost in more than 80 cities around the world.
- Charge your electric vehicle
You can also see the location and availability of charging stations for electric vehicles in some places.
- Know which way to walk
When you use Google’s Live View augmented reality feature, arrows direct you which way to walk. Choose a destination, tap the Directions button, and the walking tab.
- Travel through time
You can take a peek of the past. In Google Maps on the desktop, select a place, and drag the yellow “pegman” figure into the picture. In the top left-hand corner, click on the clock to choose the frame.
- Know flight information
Tap the 3 gray lines at the top left corner of the app and choose Your Places. Then select the “Reservations” tab to know if your plane is leaving on time. You can also use Maps in the terminal to figure out the location of nearby gates, restaurants, lounges, and stores.
- Remember where you parked
Tap the blue dot on the map and then “Save your parking“. For your convenience, look for parking difficulty icons available for more than 50 cities before you even drive.
- Save time
Get a sense of how crowded a restaurant or other place you want to go with the Popular Times and Wait times.
- Is my train colder or hotter?
Google added crowdsourced data in 2019 to help predict how crowded your train or subway or bus is likely to be at a particular time. Now the company is adding new insights via Maps that may impact your commute. These include letting you know whether specific transit systems have special sections or carriages for women, whether your train or bus is on the warmer or cooler side, and whether passengers with special needs can board with staff ready to help.
- Order food
You can choose pickup or delivery through certain eateries when you tap an “Order Online” button. Last year, pizza, Chinese, and breakfast food were the most search for cuisines in the U.S. using Google Maps.
- Add multiple stops
Tap the three dots and choose “Route options” and then “Add stop.” Google Maps will provide the fastest route between those stops.
- Plan group activities
Long-press anywhere on a map to add that place to a shortlist, which you can share with friends on any messaging platform.