The first day of Google I/O 2018 was packed with some exciting announcements. AI seemed to be the core of new cool technologies announced on Day 1.
The company also announced a few significant updates in the commonly used Google Maps. While the essential features of the app are not going anywhere, the new features are aimed at providing a complete experience to the users. The changes are designed to make the app more personal and customised for users. Let us look at some of the significant changes made to the Google Maps.
For You Tab
As Google is aiming to personalise the Maps, a new tab called ‘For You’ has been introduced. Google will give your precise suggestion of restaurants or new updates in your area. Users would also be able to follow a particular neighbourhood to know about new updates. AI and machine learning will play an essential part in delivering this feature.
A “Foodie List” will also be added & regularly updated on the app. Google will do this on the recommendation of people (trendmakers) who go out a lot. There will also be a “Trending” list which will be populated based on where the majority of people are hanging out. Google will also analyse local news articles to find out what is new in a particular locality.
No, Google Maps is not going to become Tinder. However, based on the previous rating given by you to restaurants, Google Maps will provide you with a personalised score of how close they are to any restaurant. This feature would be based solely on the ratings given by you and not anyone else. The machine learning is expected to improve the results over time.
Google has taken a cue from the Pokemon Go game in bringing AI to the Maps app. The new feature will combine the camera with Street View and Maps. Users would be able to follow animated directions by pointing their camera while walking. One-third of the screen will show what is in front of the users while a guide companion animal (possibly a fox) will show you the directions. The new feature will use ‘Visual Positioning System’ which would estimate your correct position without pinpointing the exact direction.
This feature is added to enable users to plan an outing with friends. Users can add a place by long-pressing a listing and a pop-up window will open. The user can add more places via the pop-up window to compile a list and then share it with friends. Your friends can approve any place or add more locations as per their own liking. Cool way to finalise the weekend outing.
While the Explore Tab was already present in the app, the redesigned feature will offer accurate suggestions based on your location. This tab will include trendy new places in the nearby locale or location followed by the user. Google will also update the users on the new events or activities taking place in the area which would be crowdsourced. Any discounts or deals present in the vicinity will also be shown under this tab.
Google will launch these new features for both Android and iOS in next few months. The features would be added only to the app and not the web.
So, what you think about this? Simply share your thoughts in the comment thread below.