The new Maps redesign now displays five categories across the bottom of the screen 8212; Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute, and Updates 8212; whereas previously, there were been three. And though not all features within those tabs are brand new, they bring more features than ever closer to the surface.
Whether it 8217;s a favorite place or store, or something you just want to check out in the future, Google Maps 8217; new Saved tab, located in the middle of the bottom icon bar, brings everything together to offer access to your favorite places or things. No longer are lists, labeled items, reservations, items you follow, or downloaded maps buried within other menus.
Say you want to write a restaurant review or take note of a local attraction or store, the new Google Maps update now delivers an entire tab devoted to these items on the main app screen. If you 8217;ve used Google Street View in the past to post 360-degree panoramas of your favorite places, those will show up there too alongside your view count, likes, and comments. It 8217;s not a new feature, but the update makes it much easier to find and use.
Google added a new capability to its Live View augmented reality maps feature (now in beta) that lets you see the direction where you need to walk and the distance to your destination rather than overall turn-by-turn directions. It 8217;s designed as an on-the-ground guide to help you identify exactly where to make turns or which way to start walking. That addition is geared toward helping people on foot who need to know if they 8217;re going in the right direction but don 8217;t need step-by-step instructions. As you 8217;re walking, tap in your destination, the Direction button at the bottom of the screen and then the Walk icon at the top. Then tap the Live View button. The app uses artificial intelligence to superimpose arrows and a walking map to follow on foot.
If you 8217;re using Google Maps to get around town from work or home, you 8217;ll want to first save those important addresses in the app. Here 8217;s how to do it in the newest version. Launch Google Maps, tap the Saved button in the icon bar at the bottom of the screen and tap the Labeled tab at the top. To enter your home address for the first time or change your home address if you 8217;ve moved, tap the three-dot icon on the Home line. From there, you can choose a new location on the map, choose a contact who has the new address (or your own contact card), change the Home icon, or get directions to that address from wherever you are currently located. You can follow the same procedure for your workplace and tap OK. You can now ask Google Maps to navigate to Home or Work instead of having to type in the address. You can also search for items like 「restaurants near work,」 and get a list of suggestions that you can filter according to hours, type of cuisine, ratings, and whether or not you have eaten there before.
Everyone who uses Google Maps Navigation knows the navigation feature that offers voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions. But there 8217;s a nifty shortcut to start it. You can search for a place or tap it on the map, then touch and hold the blue Directions button at the bottom right, and Google Maps will choose the best route and launch straight into Navigation mode. If you want to tweak the route or change your mode of transport, then just tap it once, make your changes, then tap Start.
If you want to share your location in real time with family or friends then tap on your ID picture, and in the resulting menu, tap Location sharing. With that, a new menu appears with a blue Get Started button. You can choose to share your location with people in your Contacts for 1 hour, Until you turn this off, or use the plus or minus button to add or subtract location-sharing time. If they have a Google account, it will share your position with those designated people in their Google Maps app or sent as a link they can tap. You can also share your location via a host of other apps, like Messages. Anyone who is sharing their location with you will have their own tab at the top of the screen and you can tap on it to see where they are.
To share a location you like, whether you are currently there or not, just tap and hold on any location on the map to drop a pin. Tap the address section at the bottom of the screen to expand it, then tap Share. You 8217;ll see a pop-up list of apps you can use to share your location. You can also send a photo view of the place.
If you want to see a photo of your chosen place, use Street View. To access it, touch and hold on the map to drop a pin on your location, then tap at the bottom where it says Dropped pin (or the address) to reveal the information. You should also see an image of the location near the bottom of your screen. Tap that, and you 8217;ll launch into Street View. To share that Street View, tap the menu in the top-right corner, and then tap Share.
When you don 8217;t know exactly what you 8217;re looking for 8212; or you seek multiple things 8212; the Explore tab is there for you. Whether it 8217;s gassing up the car, grabbing dinner and a movie, finding a decent place to stay, or taking a walk in the park, Google Maps has you covered with local points of interest. Tap the Explore tab at the bottom left of the screen, you 8217;ll see a list of nearby locations and activities. Tabs at the top of the screen direct you to specific items like Restaurants, Coffee, Hotels, Bars, Attractions, Parks, and Gas to help narrow your search.
You can also search specifically by typing directly in the search bar at the top or via voice search by tapping the microphone icon at the top right. For whatever you search for, you 8217;ll see rated listings, their distance from your location, hours of operation, and whether they are currently open or closed. You can often call businesses right from the Maps interface. If you slide the information panel down, then you 8217;ll see that they 8217;re even marked on your map.
Everyone knows how to use the pinch gesture in order to zoom in and out, but you can also zoom one-handed in Google Maps. A double-tap will zoom partially, but there 8217;s another option. Tap twice on the map, leaving your finger or thumb on it the second time, and you 8217;ll find that you can swipe down to zoom in and swipe up to zoom out. It can be a little awkward at first, but it 8217;s there if you need it.
You don 8217;t always have to be online to use Google Maps. With a bit of planning, you can download and view Google Maps offline, too. If you 8217;re planning a trip to Oakland, for example, you would launch the app, search for Oakland, and then, select the Download button. With larger areas, you will get a prompt to select a smaller area and be advised of how much space it will consume on your device before it starts downloading in the background.
Your saved maps will be listed in the Google Maps menu, which is accessible by tapping your Google ID picture on the main Explore tab. One item in the list of options is Offline maps, and that is where you can view your download. These maps expire in one year, but you can update them anytime. Offline maps are pretty limited. You can 8217;t get turn-by-turn directions, or search maps while you 8217;re offline.
Google Maps shows you recent searches when you tap on the search bar, but you can easily save locations, something that will be a real time-saver in the future when you look for a place again. To save a location, tap on the place you want to save on the map, expand the information by tapping on the address at the bottom, and then tap Save. You can choose to save it as a favorite place with the heart icon, mark it as a place you want to go, or add it to the list of your starred places. You can find your favorites and saved places under the Saved tab at the bottom of the main window.
Google Maps can help you get where you want to go on public transportation and get there on time by letting you check bus and train schedules. Simply enter the location you want to travel to in the search bar, tap on Directions and tap on the icon of the train at the top. You 8217;ll see a list of options based on the current time. If you want to check when a later train is available or see when the last train leaves, then tap where it says Depart at and enter a specific time, or you can tap on Last to find the latest option available. You can also filter the results by type of transport (bus, train, underground), and set preferences for fewer transfers or less walking via Options in the top-right corner. It even links to Lyft, which will launch a separate Lyft app to call for a ride, if you chose that.
Google has several Maps views, including map types and map details. The major map types are Default (like a flat atlas), Satellite, and Terrain. You can view each of these alone, but you can also layer in details like Transit, Traffic, and Biking to each of the main views. To see Maps variations, tap the icon at the top right that looks like two stacked layers, and you 8217;ll find view options for Satellite and Terrain. You can always tilt your map and get an isometric view in Google Maps. Tap and hold on the map with two fingers slightly apart and then swipe up. Moving your fingers in a circular motion will rotate the map. The Terrain option will show some hills, but it also sometimes shows the interior plan of certain locations.
You can plot a route with multiple locations in Google Maps. To do so, set up directions for your first location as you normally would, then tap the three-dot button at the top right and choose Add stop. Add as many places as you need and then tap Finished. Goog