Skip to main content

Google celebrates 15 years of Maps with new features and redesigned logo

Google Maps has become the go-to mapping service, not just for Android users, but also on the web, and for many iPhone users, too. You might not be aware, however, just how old the service actually is. In fact, today is Google Maps’ 15th birthday — and Google is celebrating.

The company is celebrating in a few different ways — notably, with a new Google Maps icon. According to Google, Maps is about more than just helping people get from point A to point B these days. Now, the service is also about helping users discover new places and experiences.

Google is also making the Maps app a little more functional. Notably, the app will now be organized in five tabs, including Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute and Updates.

On top of that, the service is adding new details about your trip shared by past riders for public transportation. These details will include things like temperature, accessibility, security, and more. Further, the company is expanding the Live View, and offering additional features related to helping users search for a location. In the Live View, users will now quickly see exactly how far away their destination is and in which direction it is. Last but not least, for a limited time in Maps, you’ll see a party-themed car icon when you navigate.

Google is also highlighting features that you may not have known were already in Maps. For example, did you know that you can translate names and addresses in Maps by tapping on the speaker icon next to a name, after which Google Maps will speak it out in the local language. That could be helpful for travelers. Another handy feature is the ability to quickly see information about travel and flights, provided Google Assistant has access to it. In Maps, you can access that information by tapping on the three-line menu button and then tapping on the “Reservations” tab.

Maps will even help users find other, non-traditional forms of transportation — like bikes or scooters. To search for a bike or scooter nearby, simply search for “bikeshare” — after which you’ll be told where the nearest bike or scooter is, and how long it will take to get to its location. The feature is available in 24 cities around the world for bikes, or 80 cities around the world for Lime scooters.

Editors' Recommendations

Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
Google is making it easier to ditch your iPhone for an Android phone
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro in hand.

Switching phones is never a smooth process, even if you’re switching between two different Android phones. However, when you’re trying to switch from an iPhone to Android or vice versa, it can be extra complicated -- and you can lose data and apps that you rely on. This is especially the case with Apple-to-Android transfers because the iPhone has a much stronger ecosystem lock-in with things like iMessage, iCloud backups, and exclusive apps like Overcast and Hyperlapse.

The good news is that with its Data Transfer Tool (also called Pixel Migrate on Pixel devices), Google may be trying to mitigate some of the phone-switching problems that arise -- specifically, losing access to your Live Photos. According to an APK teardown from Android Authority, Google’s Data Transfer Tool will finally resolve the problem of migrating iOS Live Photos to Android. It will do this by converting them over as Motion Photos.

Read more
This new Android feature isn’t coming to your Samsung phone after all
Someone holding the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus.

A screenshot of the Instant Hotspot feature Google

Google has announced seven new features rolling out to Android phones soon, including message editing in Google messages, improved cross-device services, and perhaps most notably Instant Hotspot. This feature streamlines hotspot creation and tethering between your Android phone and tablet or Chromebook, letting you create hotspots without having to deal with passwords and QR codes.

Read more
Your Google Photos app may soon get a big overhaul. Here’s what it looks like
The Google Photos app running on a Google Pixel 8 Pro.

Google Photos is set to get a long-overdue overhaul that will bring new and improved sharing and notification features to the app. With its automatic backups, easy sorting and search, and album sharing, Google Photos has always been one of the better photo apps, and now it's set to get a whole slew of AI features.

According to an APK teardown done by Android Authority and the leaker AssembleDebug, Google is now set to double down on improving sharing features. Google Photos will get a new social-focused sharing page in version 6.85.0.637477501 for Android devices.

Read more