Perennial geo-location and directional guide Google Maps, which turns 15 years old this month, is set for a design and functionality update to celebrate this milestone.
The update will roll out across the App for iOs and Android, as well as its web-based platforms.
Here is a summary of what you can expect:
Music streaming integration
Most of us like to listen to music on our various commutes and switching between navigation and the song we’re listening to can be a pain.
No more! Google Maps will now integrate with Spotify, Google Play Music and Apple Music to allow seamless switching between a navigation command and the music through a neat widget on the Google Maps interface.
Google Assistant integration
Another key update and feature we’ll now be able to enjoy is an integrated Google Assistant to help us find useful stops on our trips.
For example, if you’re in the middle of a journey and suddenly need to stop for fuel or at a store, you can now just ask the Assistant to highlight these on the map and add them into your navigation commands.
Live trip progress sharing
The new interface will allow users to share their trip progress for real-time updates to an authorised person. Practically-speaking this is a very useful feature – for example if you’re running late for a meeting or want your family to know when to expect you home.
But perhaps more importantly, it’s an excellent safety feature as anyone tracking your progress is able to see if you’ve suddenly stopped or deviated from your planned course for some reason.
Help with exploring
The Explore functionality has been a part of Maps for some time but was buried away in a menu, rather than being easily accessible.
The new update will bring an ‘Explore’ menu to the main interface to help you find more useful information about your destination – from restaurants and entertainment to accommodation and shopping, you’ll be in the know once you arrive.