Google Maps update & all new features 2020

Google just celebrating the 15 year anniversary of Google Maps and in doing so, they released a brand new version of the Google Maps app. So in this video, I'm gonna take you through what's new with the Google Maps the app, and I'm going to share with you some helpful tips along the way.

Let’s dive in. Before we dive into the app, I want to point out that you’ll need to make sure you have the latest version of Google Maps downloaded from either the play store on Android or the App Store for iOS. You’ll know you’re using the new version because the app icon is a bit different from the old Google Maps logo. The new logo is a simple shape of a map pin made up of the Google brand colours on a white background. Now when you first open the app on a mobile device, you’ll be greeted with popups that show you where certain things have moved in Google maps. Location sharing, timeline & settings are now accessed by tapping your Google profile icon in the top right-hand corner on the app.

Google Maps on your desktop through a browser still uses the grey menu in the top left-hand corner to access these settings. One of the more significant changes to the app’s layout is the new tabs you’ll find at the bottom: Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute, and Updates. These sections better reflect the main uses people now Google Maps for. Hitting the explore tab will bring up a window that invites you to explore the area you’re currently in and you can drag it up further to see different areas of interest to explore. Restaurants, sports bars, places of interest, and one new thing Google added here that’s really useful is events. So you can see all the local events in the area you’re exploring through the app.

The explore tab isn’t just great for exploring your home town though, it’s also great for exploring potential vacation destinations. So for example, let's say I've always wanted to go to Montreal. Shout out to my Canadian fans out there. Uh. I've always wanted to go to Montreal and I know I want to go to the city, but I don't quite yet know what I want to do when I get there. In the search bar, I’d search for Montreal, then I’d click on the tab that appears below.

This will bring up a tab similar to what you see in the explore tab. You can see points of interest, restaurants, hotels, attractions and you can even see events. So if you know when you’ll be in the place you’re exploring, you can incorporate these events into your plans. To see more about a particular event, you can click on it and that’ll bring you to a page where you can add the event to your calendar, see more details about it, the expected traffic and more.

Now let’s go back to our Montreal explore page and scroll down a bit further, you’ll see we have listed, like what’s trending, or lists like best pizza in Montreal etc. Scrolling further down, you’ll see the best-rated places to eat and drink. The featured lists you see here are generated based on your location history, so Google will try and guess the places you might want to check out based on the places you’ve already been. Google will also take into account your food and drink preferences when recommending new places to try. To set your food and drink preferences, go to settings by clicking on your Google profile icon, then click on settings, then click exploring places, food and drink preferences.

 Here you’ll be able to tell Google what types of places you’re interested in and more importantly, what types of places you're not interested in. If you have any dietary preferences you can add them here as well. And that’s the new Explore tab in Google Maps, it’s a great tab and one that I use quite often since this new update. I typically use Google Maps to decide what places I want to go eat or go shop based on where they are on the map, how close are their locations to areas I know I'm already going to be in, and what the parking situation looks like. Oh and that reminds me, here’s a tip for those of you who are concerned about always trying to find a great place to park when you're travelling to a destination, just scroll to the area in Google maps you want to search for parking, like Downtown Raleigh for example, and then search for the term parking at the top and you’ll see all the available parking decks and lots around downtown.

Now no longer will have an excuse to say you can’t meet downtown because “they’re no parking.” Clearly, this is not true. Anyways, back to the tabs. The Commute tab houses your normal commute information. It’ll show you how long it’ll take to get to work or your home location and also show you how the current traffic is looking and how that compares to how it should be at other times. For a detailed list of the navigation steps, click more info and you can see all the various steps in your navigation.

Next up, let’s talk about the saved tab. Now you may have noticed on our Montreal explore tab, at the top there’s a save button when you click save it’ll bring up a window that has a few lists in there already: starred places, favourites, or want to go. You can also create new lists, for example:2020 vacation ideas. When creating a new list, you can give your list a name and description as well as share it with others, so let's say you and your partner, you're looking to go on vacation somewhere, you can go ahead and create a list called like Vacation List, share it with your partner. And then they'll be able to see all the places that you add to the list as well as you can see the places they add to the list. Oh and one other nice feature here is when you add a place to a list, you can actually add a little note to describe your thoughts about the place, so your partner can see more information on the list than just the name of the place.

For example, I can say why exactly I like Montreal for our potential 2020 vacation getaway. When you click the Saved Tab you’ll be able to see your lists and your timeline of places you’ve visited. At the top, there are several other sections. Labelled shows you the different addresses you have labelled in association with someone’s name. So for example, here I’ll see addresses like my friend's address or my parents’ house etc. Reservations will pull data from your Gmail and calendar so, for example, things like restaurant reservations or even things like dentist appointments I’ve seen show up here. Following shows the places you’re following. Visited shows you all the places you’ve visited recently. You have full control over having your location history saved and you can turn this off in settings.

The maps section will show you the maps sections you’ve downloaded. These are especially useful if you’re navigating in a place with a poor data connection or in a foreign country where you have no data connection. Alright, well that’s the saved tab, next, let’s look at the contribute tab. When opening the contribute tab, you’ll see a place that you recently visited that Google would like you to rate, to see more suggestions for areas you can contribute to, click contribute more.

Further down you’ll see stats about your contributions. You can see your photos and reviews here as well. At the top, you’ll see a few buttons. Edit map allows you to edit Google Maps by saying a business or landmark is missing, there’s a missing address for a place, a road that exists but doesn’t exist on Google maps, wrong information on Google maps, report your blue location dot is in the wrong place or share your opinions about Google maps. Add a place allows you to add information about a place that should be on the map and should be publicly visible.

Write a review will bring you to a screen where you’ll see your current location and the places around you can write a review about. Of course, you have the option to search fora place or address so you can write a review. The last button is pretty self-explanatory, here Google Maps will access your photos and you can select the photos you’d like to contribute to a specific place. Alright, that’s it for the contribute tab.

Now let’s take a look at the updates tab. Updates are a really cool tab. When you open the tab you’ll see updates on local places like restaurants based on your preferences. You’ll see things from various local news sites like stories on restaurant openings, local suggestions, trending places this week, and more. These suggestions are based on your location history and saved home and work addresses as well as areas you follow, places you saved to your “want to go” and “favourites” lists and places Google Maps thinks you’ll be interested in. When you find a place you want to visit, hit the want to go bookmark icon and this will be saved to your “want to go” list. To change the areas you follow, click the three dots at the top in the updates tab, select manage for you. It’s here where you can choose to stop seeing updates about an area by tapping following, to change an area, tap its name and move the area and to add a new area, tap adds an area and moves the map. Alright well, that’s it for all the stuff in the new tabs in the Google maps app.

Now before we wrap up I do want to take you through two quick things in Google Maps that are new and the first one is a feature called Live View. When you pull up a location in Google Maps you’re planning to walk to, select directions and you’ll see a new tab called “Live View.” The live view uses your smartphone camera to show you exactly where to go, overlaying arrows over your current view. It’s a pretty useful feature to use where you don’t know where to go in a city. Do note this feature isn’t globally available in all locations. Lastly, if you drive an electric car like I do, you can save what plug your electric car uses in Google Maps settings. Click on your Google profile icon, select settings, electric vehicle settings, and then choose the plugs you can use with your car when searching for places to charge on Google Maps. Alright, well that’s it for what’s new with the Google Maps in 2020.

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