Google Maps turns 15, mobile app with new icon and interface rolls out
On February 8, Google Maps celebrated its 15th anniversary. However, its history is even longer, since it all started with a C++ desktop program developed by Where 2 Technologies, a company that was acquired by Google in October 2004. They converted the app into a web application, added geospatial data visualization and real-time traffic analysis, and launched Google Maps in less than a year. The mobile apps for Android and iOS arrived in September 2008.
Announced on February 6, the updated Google Maps app for Android and iOS devices is now rolling out globally and its interface has been reworked to deliver everything this piece of code has to offer in five easy-to-access tabs, namely Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute, and Updates. In addition to the refreshed look, Google Maps also received a new icon. For those who miss the old apps or simply want to take a quick look at all the app icons used for Google Maps so far, this 16-second movie should be more than enough.
Introduced last year, Live View is set to receive various new capabilities in the coming months, starting with better assistance when searching for a certain place.
Since the anniversary party is apparently not over yet, Easter Egg hunters should keep an eye out for the celebratory party-themed car icon, which is only available for a limited time.
Speaking as a person who uses mainly public transit and his own feet to get from one place to another, Google Maps is the best web mapping service I ever tried. Before any of you reading this jumps to conclusions, I will add that this is not an article endorsed by Google in any way and that I only used a few other alternatives, so if you think there is something better that I should take for a spin (web and/or Android), let me know in the comments section.