Google Maps gets a visual update, helps make reservations

Google has on Wednesday announced a new, mostly visual update for its app Google Maps, which brings new style, colours and textures, as well as a few useful updates to help users with their everyday activities.

The update includes a new set of colours and textures, a redesign to buttons and layers, as well as an update to directions, recommendations and imagery.

"Bold colors and textures are in—and Google Maps is on trend, with a slick new style to make traveling with Maps even easier", posts Google Maps UX designer Evelyn Kim on the Google blog.

"Over the next few days, when you open up Google Maps on your Android or iPhone, you'll be greeted by bright colors and a fresh new design", says Kim.

Tapping on a place's info sheet, at the bottom of the screen, brings up the info layer that shows reviews, photos and other useful information about the desired location.

The app also brings a possibility to make restaurant reservations, directly from your phone. This option is, however, reserved only for users in the United States.

"There's more to this app than good looks—we also make it easier for you to get on with your day. Need to make a last-minute dinner reservation? You can now reserve a table right from the Google Maps app for restaurants found on OpenTable (U.S. only)".

Google also partnered with Uber, to bring the ridesharing service to Maps. Users can now find pickup times and prices for their routes, if the Uber app is installed, and on places the route is available.

"Travelers deciding whether they should take an Uber or brave the frosty winds can now see estimates for Uber's pickup time and price for their route in walking and transit directions in Google Maps. This option will appear if you have the Uber app installed, where available", wrote Kim.