what's new in the 2020 google maps update?
After 15 years of providing the fantastic service that is Google Maps, the search engine giant has just actioned their biggest update to the map platform for smart devices. This update is more than just the new app icon, although it does look great in my opinion?
The update breaks the app down into 5 categories, explore, commute, saved, contribute and update.
In this article, we are going to break each of these categories down and focus how they can help you and potentially your business.
When you open Google Maps after the latest 2020 update, you’ll land on the “explore” page.
This tab will show your location, the streets and businesses around you and the option to select restaurants, petrol stations, cafes etc nearby.
You also have a search bar at the top of the page where you can type in a business name, place or address or simply use it as a browser and search for petrol station near me or wood fired pizza shop etc.
All in all, this page is still quite similar and operates the same as when you only had three tabs.
When you select the commute tab at the bottom, if you haven’t already you’ll be asked to “Set up your commute”.
This will then ask you questions like “How do you get to work most days” giving you the option of Drive, Public transport, Both, Motorcycle, Cycle and Walk.
Once you select next, you will be asked to enter your home address.
To make things easier, you can select “choose on map” or “choose from contacts.”
Google now wants to know where work is.
Don’t stress, if you don’t have a set location for work, for example, you are a builder or a mobile hairdresser, you have the option to select “No work address”.
Lastly, this tab will ask what are your average days of work and start/finish times.
When you click on the new “Saved” tab in the Google Maps update, you will see everything you expect to see when you select such a tab.
This is where you can save places under categories labelled Favourite places, Want to go and also Starred places.
Google has also given you the option to add your own lists for your convenience.
If you swipe left, this will not turn down an offer for a date you might regret, instead, this will take you to other areas in the Saved tab,
- Labelled: This will contain areas like home & work that you have saved and labelled
- Reservations: These are reservations you have made through other apps such as Gmail and Google Calendars that contain an address.
- Following: If you have searched for a location and selected follow in their Google My Business profile, this business will be saved under this tab.
- Maps: This is where any offline maps you have saved will be stored. This is a very handy feature for when you are travelling overseas and don’t want to spend your holiday money on excess data usage.
The second new feature available from the new 2020 Google Maps update is the Contribute tab.
I can see small businesses benefitting from this more thanks to the convenience and efficiency of leaving a Google review.
By simply navigating to the “Contribute” page and selecting “see suggestion” or “write a review”, the Google Map App gives you the option to give a rating.
You also have the option to edit a map, add a place, write a review or add a photo.
The “Updates” sections will give you exactly that, a number of customisable updates for the areas you frequent.
This can, of course, be managed in the settings tab.
The location or business listed in the update can be saved and this is also the inbox area for a business you have messaged from their Google listing.
The search giant has again made our lives a touch more convenient and by allowing the app to use your location in the background, it will only get better.
By now your Google Map Update should have already happened if you have automatic updates enabled for your phone, if not, make sure you jump on board.
If you are a business, make sure you utilise this fantastic tool and ask more of your customers to simply leave you a review and perhaps upload a photo or two?