Google Maps navigates its way to a cleaner, more useful design

Google Maps
You may not have thought Google Maps was looking a bit stale or a little faded, but the relevant folks holed up inside the company’s Mountain View campus in Silicon Valley clearly thought it was time to haul the mapping tool into the workshop for a makeover.

The bright new look, unveiled on Wednesday, is supposed to reflect “your world, right now,” according to Liz Hunt, product Manager of Google Maps.

In other words, it now highlights particular information that’s relevant to what you’re doing with Maps at any given time. So gas stations will show up more prominently in Navigation, and train stations in Transit, that kind of thing.

An easy-on-the-eye color scheme has also been introduced, and you’ll notice a bunch of new icons so you can quickly make sense of different places in the vicinity. You’ll have to get familiar with them first, though, so check out the slideshow below to see what to expect.

“Places like a cafe, church, museum or hospital will have a designated color and icon, so that it’s easy to find that type of destination on the map,” Hunt wrote in a post explaining the changes. “For example, if you’re in a new neighborhood and searching for a coffee shop, you could open the map to find the nearest orange icon (which is the color for food/drink spots).”

The changes are being rolled out to all the relevant Google products over the coming weeks, including not only Maps but also Google Assistant, Search, Earth, and Android Auto.

“Over time, the new style will also appear in the apps, websites and experiences offered by companies that use Google Maps APIs as well,” Hunt said.

Launched in 2005, Google Maps has received multiple makeovers over the years, with new features being added all the time.

Most recently, it announced “wait times” for Maps (and Search) that’ll show you the estimated wait time at your favorite restaurant so you can decide if it’s worth lining up, or whether you should choose somewhere else for dinner.

But the tool hasn’t always had an easy ride, or to put it more accurately, hasn’t always given users an easy ride. Its Navigation feature, for example, has occasionally been known to give erroneous directions, sometimes sending drivers miles off course, though thankfully such occurrences are rare.

Mobile

Huawei's situation in the U.S. may improve when trade war is resolved

The U.S. Commerce Department has added Huawei to its "Entity List." Google, Intel, and ARM are all confirmed or rumored to be ceasing business with the company, which may have disastrous effects on Huawei.
Mobile

The world can be your oyster with a little help from the best travel apps around

Traveling doesn't need to be a time-consuming nuisance. Our handpicked selection of the best travel apps will keep things simple, whether you need cost comparisons for hotels or directions to renowned eateries.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

The best Nintendo Switch games, from Breath of the Wild to Rocket League

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Mobile

You can't fool us -- this is definitely the Moschino Honor 20 Pro phone

Honor has launched the Honor 20 Pro and the Honor 20 at an event that took place in London. The new smartphone is surprisingly compact, with an impressive four-lens camera for taking stunning shots, day or night.
Product Review

Garmin’s Forerunner 245 Music is all a runner needs to measure performance

Garmin's new Forerunner 245 fitness watch offers advanced metrics, onboard color maps and music. Is this trio a winning combination? We put the watch through its paces to find out.
Deals

Amazon Memorial Day sale: Apple Watch, Surface Pro, and 4K TV Deals

Amazon is discounting a number of different items. Smartwatches, tablets, 4K TVs, smart home devices, and laptops are all getting discounts to stay competitive with prices from Walmart and Best Buy.
Deals

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart drop discounts

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.
Mobile

The 20 best iPhone SE cases to keep your phone looking like new

Protect your iPhone properly with one of the best iPhone SE cases or covers. That metal-and-glass body is prone to scuffs and scratches, so it pays to buy a decent case. We've got protective and stylish options for you here.
Emerging Tech

The best solar chargers for your phone, tablet, and other battery-powered gear

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for May 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals for…
Mobile

Get your gaming on the go with the 25 best Android games

The Google Play Store is loaded with both terrific and terrible gaming titles. We vetted the store to bring you some of the best Android games available, whether you're into puzzles, shooters, racing games, or something else entirely.
Gaming

These are the 20 best Android games you can play offline

Even in our increasingly connected world, you don't always have an internet connection on the go. To help you pass the time when you're disconnected, we compiled a list of the best Android games that can be played offline.