Taipei, Feb. 7 (CNA) In celebration of Google Maps' upcoming 15th anniversary, multinational tech firm Google launched a major update to its web mapping service Friday that provides a fresh look and several new features for iOS and Android platforms.
Replacing the old cluttered menu, the app's new layout features five simple tabs (Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute and Updates) reorganized at the bottom of the screen for a more user-friendly experience.
For example, the Explore function enables users to find places based on their personal recommendations, such as city attractions and restaurants, while Contribute allows people to submit reviews and photos of places they visit.
In terms of new features, Google said it also introduced Live View mode, which offers real-time augmented reality (AR) assistance to show users the exact distance and direction of their destination.
Also, when users travel by public transport, the service is able to display important information about the vehicle they are on and facilities along the route, such as whether they come with wheelchair and disability-accessible entry points, the company said.
In addition, the mapping service icon also received a design makeover as part of the update. The new version is based on the pin which has been a key part of Google Maps since it was first launched on Feb. 8, 2005.
According to the California-based tech firm, Google Maps is now used by over 1 billion people around the world every month.