Earlier this year, the Google Maps app underwent a major redesign. Now, with loads of new features and extremely rich visuals and local detail, it’s an incredibly helpful service for users as well as a powerful tool for businesses.
Here are just five of the new features we love about the new Google Maps app.
1. The asterisk search
Whether you’re in a new city or a local looking for something to do, finding suggestions for local attractions or activities is as easy as typing an asterisk into the Google maps search bar. Immediately, your map will light up with options from sporting events to museums, casinos to shopping destinations and everything in between. To enlarge or reduce the size of your search, just scale your map view to make it larger or smaller.
2. Buy and book just about anything
If you’re logged into Google, Google Maps can make travel easier than ever with the ability search for, buy and manage flights just by clicking on an airport as well as find, book and manage hotel reservations. Finding events and booking tickets is just as simple. By clicking on venues, you can see events and buy tickets right there on the map.
So if you find yourself with an unplanned night’s stay somewhere, your Google Maps app can find you somewhere to stay, somewhere to eat and even a local show.
3. Explore the world without a passport
The Google Maps ‘Pegman’ and satellite views have given us the chance to be almost anywhere in the world. Now, you really can be a virtual traveller with extra Google maps features. The Pegman is still there so you can still drag him to see the street-view anywhere it’s available, plus now you can also browse through an image carousel made up of street-view, photo tours and user submitted photos which provide you with an even richer local experience.
Earth view is another clever feature that improves your experience by creating a 3D version of your maps.
4. Offline functionality now available
Google Maps, like most apps, can chew up data so if you’re trying conserve it, or you simply don’t have access to data, you can now save maps to use offline. Simply typing ‘Okay Maps’ in the search bar on the map you want will cache the data for use later.
5. Improvements to get you where you’re going
We’ve saved the best for last with the most important features of any map software being the ability to help you get around effectively. Google Maps does this beautifully.
Some of the major improvements include the ability to add multiple destinations to your route planner, the ability to quickly compare various modes of transport thanks to the available of information about public transport timetables as well as traffic.
Bike riders are well catered for too with bike-friendly route mapping that includes roads that are suitable for bikes as well as those with dedicated bikeways.
Service improves as Google gets to know you
Over time, as you use Google Maps while logged into Google, it can get to know what you like and start making recommendations it thinks you might appreciate, whether it’s a restaurant or the fastest way home.
The Google Maps app really is loaded with features to help us all be true citizens of the world, easily navigating and exploring every corner of the globe like a local. The benefits to business are clear, the Google Maps App can help you be found, plus it can also allow potential customers to take a sneak peek inside your business or rate your service.
iFactory works with all kinds of organisations to develop effective digital strategies to capitalise on new opportunities in a sensible and sustainable way. If you’re not sure how active you should be on social media, don’t know which social channels are most important for your business, aren’t sure how to make Google and Google Maps recognise and promote your business or want to develop an app that can generate new business, we’d be delighted to answer all your digital questions.