February 2, 2022

Google Maps: These are some of the new features that you can implement

Google Maps new features 2021

In 2021 Google Maps launched a series of updates designed to be easily integrated by businesses using Maps APIs, which would substantially improve the experience for users engaging with them.

We look back at these new capabilities Google Maps brought to you in 2021, how they work and their benefits.

New Feature Index

WebGL powered Maps

Your world isn’t flat, and now your map isn’t either. With the Maps JavaScript API, you can create next-generation mapping experiences for the web using WebGL-accelerated features

WebGL Google Maps

Demo: Start Exploring

Demo: For Sectors

Cloud-based Maps styling tools to deliver a consistent experience

Cloud-based architecture replaces your JSON styling blob with a MapID – allowing you to restyle whenever you like, real-time updates, no coding necessary. It gives you greater control and flexibility over what is displayed on your map, plus simplifies & maps updates. Greater control over what is displayed on a map, styling, plus faster map customization updates, all configured, managed, and deployed from the Cloud Console.

  • Business POI Filtering
  • POI Density Control
  • Vector maps
  • Zoom-level customization
  • Business corridor styling
  • Landmarks
  • Vegetation styling
  • Building footprints
  • Industry optimized map styles

Google Map Based Styling - 1

Google Map Based Styling - 2

Cloud-based map styling tools bring your map creation workflow entirely into Google Cloud Console, letting you manage maps and styles from the server.

Google Maps new features 2021: Cloud Console 1

Cloud Style Editor Lets you create, save, publish, and swap styles without touching code.

Google Maps new features 2021: Cloud Console 2

Mobile-optimized maps

A new Maps SDK for Android to enhance the native mobile map experience and make it easier for you to deliver consistent, optimized maps across all your platforms.

Google has released version 18.0.0 of the Maps SDK for Android, which delivers an enhanced map experience to app users, thanks to a new renderer.

The new renderer introduces optimizations for a more stable and smoother end-user experience. You’ll also see specific improvements with map labels. They’ve also enhanced overall gesture handling for better animations and smoother panning and zooming.

Mobile-optimized maps

More information

Enhanced map style rolling out as default basemap in November

Google is rolling out the enhanced depictions of natural features across the map style across their API and SDK versions starting in November. This will become the default map across all supported surfaces by May 2022.

The only changes are to the visual appearance of the natural features of the default basemap. Using a new satellite color mapping technique, Google is able to deliver the more detailed and colorful experience that you see on the Google Maps app, website, and Google Maps Platform Cloud-styled maps.

Enhanced Map Style

More information

Version 6.0 of the Maps and Places SDKs for iOS

In November 2021, Google Maps released new versions of the Maps and Places SDKs for iOS. Version 6.0 helps improve developer velocity by expanding supported iOS versions to iOS 12. This version also adds a new developer-requested feature around how markers animate when added to the map.

Improved Product Solutions for Retail, Financial Services, Mobility


COVID-19 has changed the way people shop and increased the importance of digital reach for retailers. Their purchasing behaviour is largely based on location and convenience.

Help shoppers find your products

Product Locator

46% of shoppers search for product availability in a store before making a purchase decision.

Each product page connects customers with information they need for local pick up or delivery options.

Help shoppers find the best store to visit

Store Locator Plus

Dynamically list nearby locations, highlighting the ‘best’ store to visit.

Give customers the store and travel details they need to drive them to the store.

Simplify checkout process


Reduce cart abandonment rates by lowering time required to complete checkout.

Improve operational efficiency by reducing incorrect addresses.


On-demand and Deliveries: help businesses improve operations as well as transform the driver and customer journey from booking to arrival or delivery–all with predictable pricing per completed trip.

Improvements: Nav SDK for Drivers with more context on arrival.

Location Selection capabilities: in Beta. Improve user pick up experience.

Financial Services

Help your customers verify unfamiliar payments in their transaction history by showing them where the purchases were made.

Quick and Verified Sign up: makes sign-up faster, instantly suggesting nearby addresses with just a few thumb taps and displaying the inputted address for visual confirmation, helping the user feel confident that they’ve entered the correct address.

Want to know more?

Snowdrop Solutions is a Google Maps Premier Partner with over eight years’ experience working with leading companies to solve complex location challenges. We offer expertise, insights and owned technology which combined help our customers bring to life enhanced consumer experiences.

We deploy location data to build consumer trust. When information is not displayed in a clear way it can cause confusion and anxiety for customers: we simplify people’s lives by enabling our customers to deploy location enriched user interactions that build trust.

If you want to know more about how to add location-based services to your business, you can contact us by filling out the form below.