Google Maps has received an update that should improve its usefulness in helping you explore your surroundings. Available on iOS, Android, and the desktop today, the app now has a cleaner look and highlights areas of interests.
As people use Google Maps more, being able to get from point A to B without getting overwhelmed can be difficult. A map contains tons of information, so how is it possible to give people actionable details? In the latest app update, Google has removed map elements it considered to be not required, such as road outlines. The company has also improved the typography for street names, points of interest, transit stations, and other parts of the map to make them stand out.
Google has also implemented a new color scheme that it thinks will make differentiating between manmade and natural features easier. There are different “subtle and balanced” colors to call out freeways, highways, areas of interest, hospitals, schools, parks, and water. The goal of the updated design is helping you avoid spending extra time trying to discern where exactly you’re going and just let you glance at the app and be on your way.
And speaking of getting you on your way, Google Maps also highlights places it deems “areas of interest,” which are places where there is a lot of things to do. Within a map, these areas will appear shaded in orange; when you zoom in, the app will display details about each of the venues. Google said it uses an algorithm that pulls in parts of the city where lots of restaurants, bars, and shops are located. It’ll also rely on human intelligence in higher-density places such as New York City.