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More Coffee, More Transit: Google Maps Gets An Update

by Lark Turner

More Coffee, More Transit: Google Maps Gets An Update: Figure 1

Over the next few weeks, Google is rolling out an updated version to one of its most widely used apps.

Google Maps is getting a big visual upgrade — the map now dominates the screen — as well as updates to the way users see transit options, among other features. Google rolled out the change early to about 20 percent of users beginning last May. Now the update will extend to everyone.

Most of the changes aren’t completely new, but the updates make already-available features easier to access.

The transit changes, Google says, will let users “find the most efficient route” by providing suggestions for the fastest way to get to a destination, with a list showing multiple modes of transportation and the length of time each will take. Previously, users had to select a specific mode of transportation to see alternate route options. The app will also more readily show real-time traffic, previously an option hidden in settings.

Maps will also show related results within the app, so users can see popular or notable sites near a chosen destination. Similarly, typing in “coffee” or “pizza” will now show businesses where you can snag the desired food or drink, rather than just places with “coffee” or “pizza” in the name.

Maps seems to have a pattern of building out features slowly and then later issuing updates that make a feature easier to use and access. A 2012 update, for example, made it simple to use a Google feature that looks inside businesses — but it didn’t invent the feature, which had been in the works for much longer.

That update, part of Google’s Business Photos initiative, made it easy to explore the shops that opted in. While surfing around on Google Maps recently, UrbanTurf inadvertently wound up inside Lady Lisa’s Beauty Salon in Shaw (map), and caught a glimpse of a Maps photographer’s reflection in the wall of mirrors:

More Coffee, More Transit: Google Maps Gets An Update: Figure 2

To view businesses yourself, drag the little Pegman in the bottom lefthand corner of the page into any orange dot.

See other articles related to: google maps, google

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/google_maps_gets_an_update/8158

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