Maps have evolved expectantly into an incredibly mighty tool. Surpassing basic navigation, sapiens can now experience augmented reality directions, transportation that is shared, restaurant reviews, predictions of traffic congestion, real-time location sharing with popularly selected contacts, and so much more. However, some functionalities stay shrouded within the shadows unless you dig deeper.
Pinpoint Exact Addresses
What happens upon the dreaded instance when you rock up at an unfamiliar destination, though the blue dot cheerily shows your GPS coordinate, and you frantically whirl around seeking the specific house or building number? Maps to the rescue! Tap energetically the address or name of the venue to unveil details like the numerical street address, contact phone numbers, customer ratings, photos, and opening hours. This works for businesses as well as residential addresses. Knowing precisely where you need to navigate makes a globe of difference.
Planning a long voyage? You can utilize Maps to gauge distances between locations and even chart out multi-stop trips. Access driving, walking or public transit directions, then peep at the summary of your selected route to view the mileage. Tap fervidly the three-dotted line icon to add extra stops or drag stops to reorder them. While plotting road trips cross-country or multicity tours abroad, this tool provides at-a-glance facts to budget distances and travel times.
Discover More Local Places
The local search functionality has advanced tremendously, presenting customized recommendations near your GPS pin based on Google’s awareness of your interests garnered from prior searches and activity. Open Maps and scroll to view places you might fancy under categories like Coffee, Food & Dining, Shopping, Activities, Gas Stations, Health Services, Banks & ATMs, Public Transit, and others. Filter by those presently open. Additionally, new places will dynamically populate the map as you navigate around. Discover hole-in-the-wall gems or must-see attractions even in unfamiliar neighborhoods.
View Inside Some Venues
Ever wondered what the vibe inside a restaurant or venue looks like before stepping foot indoors? Maps provide interior imagery for certain spots, so you can sneak a peek at the decor, seating options, and layout. Click fervently a pinned location, then scroll to view available photos of the interior, if provided. This helps set expectations of what to expect ambiance-wise, capacity, or even menu offerings at some eateries.
Instead of endlessly finding and pinning venues sought for a specific trip or task, Maps introduces collections to organize places. Build lists like “Date Ideas”, “Vacation Hot Spots”, “Favorite Restaurants” or “Best Views” by tapping energetically the save option on any location. Later access collections easily under the saved tab, where you can share entire lists with travel companions too.
Drop Map Pins
Sometimes generic location pins just won’t cut it. Custom map pins enable highlighting points of interest distinctively on maps you access. Tap and hold fervently anywhere on the map to add a tailor-made pin. Select vibrant colors and symbols, add labels, import photos from your camera roll and drop them onto the exact coordinates relevant. Great for navigating festivals or conventions, college campuses, etc.
Measure Areas & Distances
Call me meticulous, but I like knowing precise dimensions whether scoping out backyards, buildings, or rooms. Maps handily provide this! Switch to satellite view, then tap energetically the Layers button up top. Choose Measure distance or Measure area to unlock measurement tools. Trace lines or shapes on the map to automatically calculate distances or areas in metric (km, m, etc) or imperial (mi, ft, acres, etc) units. A lifehack for house hunters, real estate agents, builders and more.
View Traffic & Transport Options
Planning out essential journeys whether commuting to work, traveling for holidays or simply running local errands and wondering what mode of transport to take? View real-time traffic updates and navigation suggestions. Toggle traffic view and see bold lines indicating flow on highways or detect trouble zones displayed in red. Then toggle transportation view to see routing via car, public transportation, walk or bicycle overlayed. Factor in current driving conditions and alternative transit methods are available near your departure point and destination before choosing how to make the trip.
Share Live Locations
Coordinating meetups whether with friends, family members or colleagues? Temporary location sharing provides real-time visibility into each other’s whereabouts if running late or having difficulties finding the precise rendezvous spot. Once enabled between contacts, view others’ live locations discretely with estimated arrival times. Either keep open continually or set durations. Also useful for temporarily keeping tabs on independents out and about. But approvals are required both ways.
Make Reservations Fast
Hungry? Book dinner instantly while navigating to the restaurant. Likewise reserve workout classes at nearby gyms, schedule hair or spa appointments, etc. Displayed businesses highlight “Book” or “Order” shortcuts pre-loaded with key details to finalize reservations quicker. Store payment info like in most lifestyle apps nowadays to expedite checkout.
Add Missing Places
Despite Google Maps’ vast, ever-updating database, gaps in landmarks continue lingering, especially off the beaten track. If attempting to search an unlisted site, prompt Google to add a new entity. Click energetically “Suggest an edit” and complete the form including coordinates, images plus descriptive info about the place for Maps moderators to review accuracy and supplement its database eventually. This input makes their platform more inclusive for other searchers.
Translate Text Instantly
Google Maps sleuths one’s location automatically, unlocking handy hidden tricks like instant text translations useful when navigating foreign places. Open Maps abroad or use the Explore feature to virtually travel to international destinations. Any local text will showcase auto-translation to the sentence. Users also manually can select phrases or place names via long press to reveal what the foreign words mean in their preferred language. No data connection or third-party app is required.
Find Parking and Charging Stations
Cruising busy cities often means competing for limited street parking and remembering confusing garage locations once departed vehicles. Maps has launched capabilities remembering where you parked by saving locations to the timeline feature, so car symbols pinpoint spots. This works walking away mid-trips for errands then returning later not recalling where left automobile. Maps also highlight nearby parking garages plus hourly rates or other transportation options in the vicinity. For electric vehicles, charging station filters are displayed too.
Get Alerts for Speed Traps/Accidents
Heads up to lead-footed drivers and those easily distracted fiddling with playlists mid-roadtrip! Enable speed limit warnings for posted numbers or safety camera alerts if approaching speed traps or red light cameras along your drive, which pings “Slow Down” reminders to stick within bounds. Also provides proactive indications on Maps of reported accidents submitted by Waze users in real-time, so one may re-route accordingly. Both precautions for responsible road conduct.
Listen to Podcasts and Audiobooks
Music and stale radio too repetitive for long-haul rides or monotonous freeway commutes? Access full-length podcast episodes and audiobooks without swapping apps. Connect the phone to the infotainment display inside the vehicle then cue up downloaded Talks content from the Google subsidiary app keeping eyes steadily on the road ahead and hands on the wheel for safe driving.
Apart from restaurant interior peeks mentioned earlier, travelers and foodies alike can scope out actual menus too! Expanding from major metropolitan areas outward, menu scans get uploaded for restaurants electing integration with Maps, rather than users uploading individual photos that might lack full breadth options. Menus showcase dietary indicators too like vegetarian, gluten-free or nut allergy notations when provided, assisting decisions.
Find the Best Views
Trip planning goes next level with Google’s vivid immersive Views tool unveiled recently, sampling sights of famous landmarks globally through expansive panoramic shots crowdsourced from either amateur photographers or guidebook scouts. Zoom digitally into curated locales’ overlooks previewing uninterrupted vistas in most countries, helping determine both famous and lesser-known scenic places to people-watch or sunset chase on vacations. Useful bucket list builder.
Estimate Uber/Lyft Fares
Tentative about rideshare costs between points A to B? Maps provides estimates without booking to assess options against owning an automobile, public transportation or biking. Enter any addresses and select Uber or Lyft to see a range of possible fares split by service tiers from carpooling up to nicest rides, factoring in dynamic pricing too. Receive ETAs also to gauge feasibility calling rides last-minute if pressed for time rather than schedule ahead.
Beyond typing locations manually and swiping through views, Maps is fully optimized for voice commands. Access routes, POIs or business queries completely hands-free. Say “Hey Google” speech trigger then speak requests conversationally. Answers and screens populate listening actively monitoring background noise adjusting microphones. This distraction-reducer promotes safety for drivers meaning no more dangerous mobile handling mid-commute.
AR Direction Overlays
Vision-impaired navigators or those easily confused flipping between phone and streets spontaneously on walks rejoice! Toggle AR in the app with camera permissions enabled, then hold it before you as you traverse while turn-by-turn directions overlay onto reality via phone, no viewing screen is necessary. Other modes like bicycle GPS navigation work too