Google Maps, perhaps the world’s most popular mobile device navigation software, has been updated to celebrate its 15th anniversary.
But, the Google Maps update doesn’t add the same level of usefulness that the recent Apple Maps update did—partly because some of that capability was already built into Google Maps. Also, much of Apple’s update centred around privacy concerns, and privacy concerns aren’t as prominent a talking point for Google, it’s probably fair to say.
As a result, the Google Maps update is of less note to motorcyclists, as it was already more capable than the Apple Maps app. Mostly, motorcyclists will notice a change in the interface; there’s a new five-tab display, with the sub-heads Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute and Updates.
Here’s how Google explains what each of these tabs does:
- Explore: Looking for a place nearby to grab lunch, enjoy live music or play arcade games? In the Explore tab, you’ll find information, ratings, reviews and more for about 200 million places around the world, including local restaurants, nearby attractions and city landmarks.
- Commute: Whether you’re traveling by car or public transit, the Commute tab is there to make sure you’re on the most efficient route. Set up your daily commute to get real-time traffic updates, travel times and suggestions for alternative routes.
- Saved: People have saved more than 6.5 billion places on Google Maps—from the new bakery across town to the famous restaurant on your upcoming vacation. Now you can view all of these spots in one convenient place, as well as find and organize plans for an upcoming trip and share recommendations based on places you’ve been.
- Contribute: Hundreds of millions of people each year contribute information that helps keep Google Maps up to date. With the new Contribute tab, you can easily share local knowledge, such as details about roads and addresses, missing places, business reviews and photos. Each contribution goes a long way in helping others learn about new places and decide what to do.
- Updates: The new Updates tab provides you with a feed of trending, must-see spots from local experts and publishers, like The Infatuation. In addition to discovering, saving and sharing recommendations with your network, you can also directly chat with businesses to get questions answered.
So, while the app may not work any better at getting you from A to B, it will help you find something to do or somewhere to eat once you arrive, which is itself pretty useful to travelers. The new commuting options may also prove quite useful for the 8-5 crowd.
As always, Google Maps is available for download at no cast for iOS and Android users. Should you want to look at a different mapping app, or at other useful apps for ADVers, check out Egle’s recent post.