This isn't just a few new tweaks though. The app now looks noticeably different. That is if you already have the updated version as it may not have changed yet for some users.
Google has given the app an all-new icon too. Instead of a map like before, it's now a pin drop featuring the usual Google colors ( you can view a video of the icon evolution below). As with many things that Google does, the new design and features are all about making things quicker and easier to access for the user.
The fresh Google Maps design starts with the navigation tab
The core of this fresh new design in Google Maps is really all about the navigation tab at the bottom.
These tabs have been updated to put the most useful stuff at your fingertips so you have to fiddle around less in the menus. These tabs include Explore, which is what you're likely used to as this is just the standard map with the ability to search for places. Like a new brewery or coffee shop.
There's also a commute tab if you typically use Maps for routes to and from work or anywhere else. The Saved tab is for things you've searched for and wanted to bookmark. So for example, say you found a new place to try ramen and you didn't have a chance to go right away, so you save it. These things will show up in the Saved tab.
The last two tabs are Contribute, which you'll use if you're uploading images of places you can find in maps or if you want to see what others have contributed, and Updates, which despite the name is not about updates to the app. Instead, it's a feed of changing places that other users are finding to be trendy.
These "must-see" locations can be recommended by local users, or even publishers.
New features focused on improving public transit rides
Another big part of this new update is the attempt to improve your public transit ride.
Users can now check to see what the temperature of the ride is like. With details about whether it's cooler or warmer coming from other passengers who have ridden the same transit route.
Another cool new feature is the ability to see how many carriages are available on Japanese trains. This is a Japan-only feature, and it makes sense, as Japan's trains are famously packed at certain times of the day, making it impossible to get a seat.
This feature aims to help you plan around that. There's a feature that tells you what sort of security is onboard your transit too. Overall it seems like most of these are quality of life improvements for the app. And it definitely seems like users will appreciate them.