Google Maps gets a new look, and it’s simply genius

(Image credit: Google)

Google Maps came along 15 years ago, wiping out the need to commit routes to your long-term memory and provoking sales of road maps to plummet. To mark its birthday, Google has given the platform a total overhaul, with a brand new look, a plethora of new features and a shiny new app icon. 

Google Maps' icon was last updated in 2015, to a map featuring a pin plus its 'G' symbol. But this new incarnation has ditched the lettering altogether, and put the well-known pin icon firmly centre-stage.

(If you'd like to up your icon game, check out our list of the best free icons. You can also explore Google's hidden features with our post on the best Google Easter Eggs)

The above video tracks the evolution of the app icon, with a nod to the original real-life drawing pin that inspired the virtual one. Because the pin is now on its own, it has transformed from a humble red into a smorgasbord of Google's brand colours, in the formation of roads on a street map. 

According to Google, the icon "represents the shift we’ve made from getting you to your destination to also helping you discover new places and experiences". And be sure to keep an eye out for a "celebratory party-themed car icon", which will appear for a limited time over this birthday period. 


The icon looks lovely when overlaid against images like these (Image credit: Google)

The updated app design will see the introduction of five tabs to organise your Maps experience into categories that include Commute and Explore. Live View is expanding, and there will be more capability in the Public Transit section, too.

We think the new design is streamlined and unfussy, and the evolution of the pin makes for a neat story.

Read more:

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Georgia Coggan

Georgia is lucky enough to be Creative Bloq's Editor. She has been working for Creative Bloq since 2018, starting out as a freelancer writing about all things branding, design, art, tech and creativity – as well as sniffing out genuinely good deals on creative technology. Since becoming Editor, she has been managing the site on a day-to-day basis, helping to shape the diverse content streams CB is known for and leading the team in their own creativity.