As an explorer, traveller, or just curious person, one of the greatest tools in your arsenal is Google Maps. Whether you want to check out a restaurant before visiting it, a hotel before booking it, a touristic place before taking time out of your crowded trip schedule to visit it, or you just like browsing various places to see what they look like, Maps is there to help. But there's often one question I ask myself when viewing a place listing: ok, that looks good, but what if the photo was taken three years ago? What if it's under renovation, or has deteriorated? That's why I'm happy about Maps' latest addition — get it?

The Photos section in all listings on Google Maps has been revamped. Instead of the small bar with the different sub-sections, there are now slightly larger cards with rounded borders that collapse into smaller rectangles when you swipe up.

Left: Before. Right: Now.

The most important addition is a new "Latest" filter that shows you the most recent photos uploaded for this location. So you can easily tell if a restaurant's food looks as appetizing now as it did before, or if a hotel is elegant as it ever was. Maybe if I had this a couple of months ago, I would have skipped visiting Casa Batlló in Barcelona — it was nice, but the renovation left very little of the place to enjoy and the facade was entirely covered.

When checking out restaurants, you may also notice that two filters have been renamed. "From the menu" is now "Food & drink," and "Atmosphere" has become "Vibe."

Left: Latest photos. Middle: Food & drink. Right: Vibe.

Another change affects how videos and 360-deg photos are displayed. Previously both filters used large screen-wide thumbnails whenever possible, resulting in merely two or three being visible at a time.

Left: Before. Right: Now.

As you can see in the screenshots above and below, this is now changed. We have two columns of videos and 360-deg photos, resulting in more thumbnails being shown on the screen. I prefer the new look — the more I can see without scrolling, the faster I'll find what I'm looking for.

Left: Before. Right: Now.

I'm currently seeing these changes in Maps v10.13.0 beta, though they may be showing up in older versions of the app as well. You can grab the latest beta from the Store or from APK Mirror.

Google Maps
Google Maps
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
  • Thanks:
  • Samarth Verma