New Look Google Maps UI, Category Icons, Updates to Home & Google Assistant Live Now!

Changes to Maps offer same consistent experience through new UI, color palette and icons. Google makes Assistant and Home more functional and discoverable.

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New Google Maps UI

Google Maps changes its look and feel as well as gets new categories and color coding in an update announced on Wednesday. The new look Maps that as Google puts "better reflects the world" with updated driving, navigation, transit and explore maps — all now highlight the most relevant information to each experience, like for example — gas stations for navigation, train stations for transit, and so on.

As roads close, businesses open, or local events happen in your neighborhood, you'll see it on Google Maps. When you schedule an event using Google Calendar, get a reservation confirmation in Gmail, or add a restaurant to your "Want to Go" list, Google Maps reflects that too.

The image above shows the new look UI.

Google is updating colors scheme alongside new icons added that correspond to places and business categories for quickly indentifying point of interest. "Places like a cafe, church, museum or hospital will have a designated color and icon, so that it's easy to find that type of destination on the map," writes Google.

The now brighter color palette and icons help easily indentify things, with food and drink now orange or gold, shopping is royal blue, services are lavender, entertainment is turquoise, outdoor activities and places are green and so on.

Here, an image of new color palette, for more, you can check out this cheat sheet of the new colors and icons.

New Google Maps color palette

All Google products that incorporate Maps, including Assistant, Search, Earth, and Android Auto, will get these updates over the next few weeks. And, over time third-party apps, websites and experiences that use Google Maps APIs will also , be getting these new styles.

Another product that got refreshed making it now easier than ever to discover favorite movies, shows and music along with a new look and added smarts — the Google Home app receiving a full makeover and is much more intuitive now with key navigation buttons now closer to fingers located at the bottom.

Here's what's offered today:

  • recommended content from streaming services—making it easy to find the movies, music and shows you want to watch and jump directly into your favorite streaming services to play them.
  • Better search: When you want to watch that one rom-com but can't remember the name of it, you can search by actor, artist, genre or category.
  • Android users can now cast movie trailers for everyone to watch on TV, while still using their phone to seamlessly swipe and play trailers for related content.
  • redesigned controllers providing more control over your entire viewing and listening experience with . You can even adjust advanced sound settings like bass and treble on your Google Assistant supported speakers, like Google Home.

Google has also announced new discovering ways making it easier for users to find, interact, and re-engage with Google Assistant and apps. "With more international support and updates to the Google Assistant, it's easier than ever for users to find your app," writes Google.

Here's a quick list of updates:

  • App directory adds new sections — "what's new" and "what's trending" within the Assistant experience on your phone.
  • Autocomplete in the directory's search box, so, if a user doesn't quite remember the name of your app, it will populate as they type.
  • New subcategories in the app directory as well as new badges for family friendly apps. The company says, when a category like "Food & Drink" is clicked, apps brokes down into additional subcategories, like "Order Food" or "View a Menu."

    Google Assistant subcategories

  • Implicit discovery — when a user connect to an app using contextual queries — like for e.g., "book an appointment to fix my bike", as opposed to calling the app by name.
  • New discovery section of the console help improve app's implicit discovery, providing instructions for creating precise action invocation phrases so your app will surface even when a user can't remember its name.
  • New "For Families" badge help users find apps that are appropriate for all ages.
  • International support will soon help find apps in even more languages starting today.
  • New API for creating experiences that start with Assistant on voice-activated speakers like Google Home and can be passed off to users' phones.

    google assistant speaker to phone

  • Build personalized apps by enabling apps to remember select information and preferences.
  • Better SSML as you can now create natural, quality dialog using newly supported SSML tags, including <prosody>, <emphasis>, <audio> and others. The new tag <par> is coming soon and lets you add mood and richness, so you can play background music and ambient sounds while a user is having a conversation with your app.
  • Cancel event with a polite farewell message.
  • Account linking in conversation with updated AskForSignIn API, prompting users to link their account to app at the most appropriate time of the experience.
  • Adding a suggestion chip prompting the user to sign up for a daily update.

    google assistan daily updates

  • Push notifications API, enabling apps to push asynchronous updates to users.
  • Directory analytics will be providing information about your app's rating, number of pageviews, along with number of conversations that were initiated from your app directory listing.