Initially revealed in May 2013, the new Google Maps software has had all its bugs ironed out and is now available to all users. The update brings several new features to the software, and improves on some of its predecessor’s problems.
Some of the new features include improved restaurant reviews. This means if you simply open up Maps and search for something such as ‘coffee’ or ‘Italian food’, Google will show you the closest cafés and restaurants, and it will even collect reviews from the internet to show you an average review, scoring them out of five stars. Another big improvement is to the live traffic function, which can now predict traffic into the future by using old data from the same time of day over previous weeks.
If you have a Google account, your default map will now use your directions history to mark some of the locations which you frequent, such as restaurants to which you often search for directions. If you find this new feature a little invasive, your directions search history can be deleted or you can create a new map without any of this information. This ‘create a map’ function can also be used to personalise your current map even more, adding locations you frequent often.
Further features include improved cycling route information, listing bicycle friendly roads and paths, and better support for public transport, but unfortunately Australia has once again been left behind with this public transport feature. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the new update is that it may run slowly on older computers. Google is offering a ‘compatibility mode’ if this does affect you, and if that doesn’t solve the problem, the old version of Google Maps, now called “classic Google Maps” will also still be available.
The new Google Maps is rolling out now so you can expect it soon, but if you can’t wait for the new software click here to begin using the new update. If the new update doesn’t agree with your computer, click here for instructions on how to change back to classic Google Maps.