Material Design is one of the cornerstones of Google’s Android when it comes to overall design and user interface elements, and the company hasn’t been shy about wanting to use the same design principles for mobile and web apps. Google has slowly updated its mobile apps to Material Design surrounding Lollipop’s launch last year, and the company is moving forward with similar plans for the web. The overhauled design has now finally reached one of Google’s most prized possessions, the web version of Google Maps, which now mirrors the Android and iOS interface.
Android and iOS device owners who are already familiar with Google’s mobile Maps app will immediately recognize the changes when it comes to color palette and user interface elements. Anyone else who has used Google Maps in the recent past will immediately see the difference. There’s an all-new menu on the left side of Google Maps that has the same functionality as the older one but looks completely different. You can use it to search for locations and landmarks, get directions, and learn details about the places you’re going to visit. Everything is now dressed in Material Design.
The expanded menu on the left appears only after you’ve performed a search.
Interestingly, a neat new feature of the new Google Maps on the web concerns Street View. Just click on the appropriate thumbnail image that appears in the menu on the left after a search, and it’ll instantly take you to Street View mode. For example, in the screenshot above you can quickly check out the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France by clicking on the middle thumbnail aptly labeled “Street View.”