Google Maps is unveiling several new features in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season. Although the updates are not holiday-specific, the timing aligns well with the bustling travel season. The focus is on enhancing the navigation experience and facilitating destination exploration.
In terms of navigation, Google is broadening the customization options for transit directions. Users can now apply filters such as Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA), trip duration, walking time, transit type, and transfer count. This allows users to tailor their preferences, like avoiding hilly paths or minimizing walking. Preferences are saved for convenience, eliminating the need to reset them with each search. By clicking the options button on displayed transit routes, users can access preferred modes and route options.
Addressing the “where,” Google Maps is introducing collaborative lists. Users can share locations on Maps, and together, create a list of places of interest. Group members can vote on locations using heart or thumbs-down emojis, fostering collaborative decision-making.
Regarding clearer directions, Google Maps is enhancing guidance to station entrances, specifying which side of the street to enter based on the train’s direction. This improvement will be available in 80 cities, spanning from Boston to Singapore.
In the realm of emoji reactions, the latest Google Maps update enables users to respond to reviews with emojis. Additionally, users can create custom emoji mashups with the assistance of AI and the Emoji Kitchen, which suggests combinations based on photo content and selected emojis. While the emoji response feature is already available, the Google Maps updates will be gradually rolled out on Android and iOS devices in the coming weeks.