Google Maps Gains New Navigation System, Crowd-Sourced Transit Info, and More

Thursday February 6, 2020 2:56 AM PST by Tim Hardwick

This week marks 15 years since Google Maps first launched, and Google is celebrating with some notable new features and updates for the mapping service app on iOS and Android.

The five tabs on the new Google Maps navigation screen

Starting today, the Google Maps will feature a new navigation system across the bottom of the interface including five icons, two of which are completely new: Saved, which is home to all the lists and locations you've bookmarked, and Contribute, which prompts you to add photos and reviews to places you may have visited.

The change means Google has gotten rid of the side-loading menu that was previously accessible from the search bar.

In the transit directions screen, Google has also brought in some new features crowdsourced from Maps users. These can include details shared by other passengers, like how crowded it is, how hot/cold it is, accessibility, women's-only carriages, the presence of security onboard, and how many cars a train is pulling.

There are also some notable changes to the AR-powered Live View that Google launched last year. The big blue directional arrows showing you where you're going have become optional, and Live View can now drop a big red pin on your destination and tell you how far away you are from it instead.

Lastly, the Google Maps app has a new icon – it's a four-color take on the location pin that the mapping service has used for years.

The new-look Google Maps update should be rolling out to iOS and Android users today, with the exception of the Live View changes that Google says are coming soon. Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

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8 weeks ago


Real headline: Google updates navigation to obtain even more information about where u are and what ur doing.

Good, that's how it should work. If I don't tell the app where I am and where I am going then how can it give me accurate data and routes to and from work/home etc and to-the-minute traffic info?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 weeks ago


Real headline: Google updates navigation to obtain even more information about where u are and what ur doing.

Exactly why Google is succeeding and us Apple users still complain about Maps & Siri even after several years.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 weeks ago
Real headline: Google updates navigation to obtain even more information about where u are and what ur doing.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 weeks ago


Real headline: Google updates navigation to obtain even more information about where u are and what ur doing.

I'm fine with that, it helps them let me know how busy a store is so I know when to go. Just wish it worked in plazas, they should send out Bluetooth beacons to install by the door inside since they can't seem to track it if places are too close together.

They've also paid me $4.19 so far this month just asking me questions about stores I've gone to.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 weeks ago
works great until an artist with 99 phones in a shopping cart makes it appear that random slowdowns are occurring and reroutes the entire system.

(that actually happened)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 weeks ago


Exactly why Google is succeeding and us Apple users still complain about Maps & Siri even after several years.

Not me. :p I use Apple Maps pretty much exclusively now, and it's excellent, particularly since they switched to the new map data in my area. The app is slicker, the "look around" feature is better than Google's "street view", and Google has nothing comparable to "flyover". And all without being under constant surveillance by an ad company. I have no more Google apps on my phone now (although their snooping analytics SDK is probably still present in some 3rd party apps).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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