08 May 2015

New Menu for Desktop Google Maps

If you like Google Maps' mobile apps for Android and iOS, there's a good news: the desktop site now has a similar interface. The search box has a small icon for directions and another icon for the navigation menu, which lets you enable layers for satellite imagery, traffic, transit, bicycling, terrain, use My Maps, share maps, print maps and more.

The new hamburger-style menu adds features that were previously scattered in at least 4 other places: 2 menus at the bottom of the page, a satellite thumbnail and the search box.

Here's the old interface: the "getting around" card for layers, a small thumbnail for switching to satellite imagery (still available in the new UI), a help menu and a gear menu for sharing maps, Google Web History and search settings.

Another change is that you can switch to the lite mode, which replaces the old Google Maps:

Google Removes Reading Level Filter

Last month, Google removed search filters for visited page. Now it's time for a new advanced search feature to be removed: reading level. This feature was introduced back in 2010 to let you find search results that are better suited for you. "Sometimes you may want to limit your search results to a specific reading level. For instance, a junior high school teacher looking for content for her students or a second-language learner might want web pages written at a basic reading level. A scientist searching for the latest findings from the experts may want to limit results to those at advanced reading levels," explained Google.

Reading level is no longer available in the search tools dropdown or in the advanced search page. Verbatim is the only filtering option you can still use and I'm sure it will be removed soon. Hopefully, Google won't remove time filters, which are more popular and easier to understand.

Here's a screenshot from last month: