This is what Google Maps’ big redesign looks like

A screenshot of the redesigned Google Maps app, with three buttons in the navigation bar.
Redesigned Google Maps app Google

In recent years, Google Maps has felt like it’s an afterthought to Google. As Apple Maps continues to improve with better navigation, cleaner transit layers, and better information, Google Maps has lagged. That’s why we’re thrilled about the redesigned Google Maps app that Google showcased at Google I/O 2024.

The redesigned Google Maps update includes a cleaner home screen with fewer tabs, new pin colors, and a generally simplified interface. Basically, there’s a new Google Maps bottom navigation bar with three new tabs: Explore, You, and Contribute, paring things down from the five we currently have — Explore, Go, Saved, Contribute, and Updates.

Redesigned Google maps.
Redesigned Google maps Google

Explore and Contribute haven’t really changed in functionality. Explore still helps you navigate and discover new places and attractions, and Contribute lets you offer your own suggestions, reviews, and photos. The You tab now takes over for Saved places, but also consolidates the Notifications feed, which used to be under Updates and showed reactions and views to your reviews and comments.

It’s great to see a simplified interface. Like most people, we never used most of the tabs on Google Maps. There are also lots of other quality-of-life features that we’re excited about. There’s a new sheet-based interface, meaning you can see and interact with things on the map without it taking over the whole screen while still getting more information at once.

The map is also visible when using different app functions, so you don’t constantly need to switch between tabs while navigating. It’ll be easier to close sheets, plus there’s a redesigned search field for directions and improved placement of transport options so that options for driving, transit, walking, cycling, and ride-hailing are at the bottom of the screen. Google is also exploring a new Arrival card design.

These changes follow Google’s other recent change in March that made creating and sharing lists better, with a particular focus on travel. You can create a new list with the aptly named “New List” button on the Saved tab, add a place to your list, and always see it pinned on your map. It’ll be organized chronologically. You can move items up and down to create a ranked list to help you visit places, similar to an itinerary. You can also link to content from your social media channels, like with Yelp, to help remind you why something is on your list.