Google Maps is turning 15 and to celebrate, the search giant is offering a host of new features and updates. Ranging from a fun party themed car icon to real time directions that can be seen using augmented reality, there’s a host of new features that will change the way we use maps.
The new augmented reality feature which was launched as a beta version last year will now make it to most devices. This feature will specifically be a boon to pedestrian traffic. The app will essentially use augmented reality to show routes in real-time. The use of camera will also provide better visibility to the traveler.
The Live View will activate as soon as the user starts moving on a walking route with Google Maps. The app combines Street View’s real- world imagery, machine learning and smartphone sensors to provide an interactive interface. The user will be able to spot the destination overlaid on the camera and even switch routes accordingly. The new feature will work on smartphones that support ARCore and ARKit.
Google Maps update also gets a revamped interface that will include five easy-to-access tabs: Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute and Updates. Explore will help users find information about local spots including reviews, rating and more. Commute is focused at reducing the travel time and increasing comfort for the traveler. Saved tab will give the user access to more than 6.5 billion places saved by Google Maps users. One can also share recommendations for fellow travelers on this tab. Contribute, as the name suggests provides a shared space where users can give fellow travelers heads up about a certain situation or share pictures. Updates tab is a feed of locations and spots that should be on your list of places to visit.
For a limited time Google is also going to replace the navigation arrow with a party themed car in order to celebrate the software’s anniversary.