According to the Google bog, Cyclists will now see a lot more information explaining what a route will be like. Maps now breaks down a route by percentages, showing how long you'll be in a marked bike line, a shared path, on a steep hill, or on a major road. The route selection screen is also able to break down routes into categories like "more bike lanes" and "less turns."
Location sharing is now getting notifications. If any friends or family members share their location with you, you'll soon be able to watch a certain area and get notified when they arrive or leave. This sounds like a recipe for disaster to us, but it would be useful to know when someone has arrived at an airport so you can pick them up.
Google claims this feature has been built with privacy in mind.
"Notifications can only be set for someone who has already chosen to share their location with you. The person who’s shared their location with you will receive multiple reminders to let them know—including both a push notification in the Maps app and an email, along with recurring monthly emails. As always, you’re in control: you choose to stop sharing your location or block someone from setting notifications altogether."
Google is also launching "photorealistic aerial views of nearly 100 of the world’s most popular landmarks." It is not clear what Google means. There is a "3D" button on desktop Google Maps, which launches the Google Earth dataset, but on mobile you've only ever had a flat satellite view or untextured 3D blocks of buildings. Google Earth has its own app on mobile, which previously made a lot more sense because it takes an incredible amount of compute power.
Google previously announced "Immersive View" at Google I/O as a super-ambitious new detail layer for desktop and mobile Google Maps,. The feature basically turns the service into SimCity, with simulated, animated 3D traffic, realistic water reflections, animated birds, clouds, and time-of-day lighting.
Google does not say that Immersive View is launching soon, but instead that this new 3D feature is "the first step toward launching immersive view."