Google earlier this month said it would bring a fresh new update to Google Maps to launch a new design for Android and iPhone.
It started as the code changed, but within the last week or so you have received other changes recently announced by Google.
There are now five buttons at the bottom of the screen – Explore, Go, Save, Contribute and Update. Some of these options were already available on Google Maps but were hidden in the menu.
It’s now very useful in the foreground and in the middle, and the best way to get there, is to review the places you visit, suggestions of restaurants you want to register near you, and quick access to the places you want to visit while on the go.
Here’s what each new button does and how to use it.
The “Explore” button at the bottom of the screen displays a small menu with nearby restaurants that you may want to check out. But if you drag this menu up you will see more information.
It shows you upcoming events such as concerts, festivals, events at the performing arts center and more. Scroll further, and you’ll see a list of featured users.
In my area, for example, I’m seeing “top rated desserts” in the West Bronx, a list of top places sponsored by Google. There are also photos of the area posted by other people.
This is a useful tab if you are landing in a city for work and want to know where to go to a restaurant or if some good nightlife event happens while you are in town.
Use the “Go” tab called “Nav”. Now includes information on how long it takes to reach your most recently searched destinations, your home or work with your chosen transportation system and nearest public transport lines.
The features of the transport line are particularly effective in cities. Shows real-time information for arrival of buses and subway lines to New York, for example, if it is late.
In March, Google will introduce new features on certain lines that let you know if there is safety on board, in select countries such as Japan and India, there is only a car for women, and if people are cool or hot on the bus or train.
I like the navigation feature more than ever, because it always shows me how much time it takes me to get home or office in a car. It’s a good idea to take a look at this instant information.
The Save tab gives you quick access to anything saved for viewing. So, for example, if you are traveling to Lisbon, Portugal, your friends can tell you many places to visit.
You can tag these places in Google Maps and create a saved list. Then, when you arrive, swipe up this tab to see where to go.
It also has other convenient features, such as reserved parking space, favorite places you love, and more.
And if the tabs go up, you’ll see restaurants you’ve booked (unless they’re drawn from your Gmail account), custom maps you’ve created, and more.
Contribution is a quick access point to add your own review. As you can see, I am a very active Google Maps reviewer.
It allows you to add new places that have not yet been found on Google Maps, review places you have visited, post public photos for the other person to see, edit map areas that may be more inaccurate
It’s a way of crowding out data from Google’s users, so if you don’t want your reviews and photos to be public, you may not want to do this, but it can be useful to other users, and that’s my choice.
Finally, there is an update button in the bottom right. It’s similar to the Explore tab but it has more rich content that has been reported in the news.
For example, I’m seeing stories of what’s going on at Lincoln Center Performing Arts in New York by Playbill. If I scroll down, I see news about places I’ve recently opened in the city I live in and places I’ve been to recently.
In Philadelphia, for example, I have a note of a molasses brew place tagged as Favorite so it has fresh algae beer to try.