Alongside the launch of Android 11, Google added a new feature to Live View, the augmented reality mode for walking navigation in Google Maps, that helps you find friends in AR. But even if you're not trying to meet up with somebody, you can easily access the AR mode and orient yourself to any location.
Google Maps Live View is already one of the more useful examples of augmented reality on smartphones that is available to the average consumer today.
Google Maps lets you set home and work locations for quick access to navigation. In fact, these two locations are so central to the Maps experience that if you don't have both saved, the app can be a little naggy about it. But if you work from home, there's just one address to use, so what are you supposed to do?
Google just recently added an incognito mode feature to Google Maps for iPhone and Android. With that, you can now use Maps in private at any time, which means you can browse and search with peace of mind.
Even if you're totally familiar with all the routes you can take to go home or work, you'll still want to use Google Maps to find the fastest route in current traffic conditions. If you're on Android, there's an extremely fast way to do this.
Google's "Go" line of apps are lightweight counterparts designed to be limited speedy alternatives to their full-featured sibling apps. There is a Go version of Photos, Search, Maps, and more — but are they the right apps for you?
When you're going somewhere for the first time, it's nice to know what the destination will look like. Street View in Google Maps is the perfect tool for that, though it's always been a little awkward to access. But now, Google added a new overlay that will put Street View content literally one tap away at all times.
How To: Add Playback Controls for Apple Music, Spotify & Other Music Services to Google Maps for Quick Access During Navigation
Staying alert to directions and changing the music you're listening to on your smartphone at the same time can be cumbersome, but Google Maps wants to fix that. One of the mapping service's features allows you to control music playing on Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music from inside of Google Maps — while you're navigating in the car, on public transport, or even on your bike.
How To: View Popular Hours, Wait Times, and Live Visit Data for Businesses to Determine When to Go Out, Stay Home, or Move On
Unlike Apple Maps, Google Maps can tell you when a restaurant, bar, club, or other business you're thinking of visiting is busy. It's extremely helpful if you want to avoid peak times or wait for the place to be empty. If you can't pry yourself away from using Apple Maps, there's an easy alternative to see the popular times of most businesses.
You can double-tap most maps on your iPhone to zoom in, and tap once with two fingers to zoom out. And I'm sure you're more than familiar with the pinch gesture for zooming. But there's an even better way to zoom in and out on maps, and you can do it with one hand tied behind your back.
Google Maps tracks everywhere you go with your smartphone, even when you're not using the app. Even if it's as mundane as your weekly grocery trip, Google Maps has it saved for you to see in its Android and iOS apps. And while it's mostly used for recommendations and your reference — you may not want Google Maps to keep such a rich location history.
If you're in the market for a new house, how do you know what your commute would be like if current traffic is unseasonably low? Or if you're considering a new job across town and want to weigh the pay raise against the extra time stuck in a gridlock, how do you measure the discrepancy? Google Maps can help.
For the most part, new features for Google Maps, such as Live View augmented reality walking navigation, come to Android first.
Dark mode is one of the most requested features these days, but it's even more important with a navigation app. If you're using Google Maps for directions while driving at night, the default white background will shock your eyes and make it harder to see the road in front of you. Thankfully, you can now enable a dark theme to make this whole process a lot safer.
As intuitive as Google Maps is for finding the best routes, it never let you choose departure and arrival times in the mobile app. This feature has long been available on the desktop site, allowing you to see what traffic should be like at a certain time and how long your drive would take at a point in the future. Fortunately, Google has finally added this feature to the app for iPhone and Android.
In about 27% of all car crashes, someone was using their cell phone. You may think texting is the big problem here, but many fail to realize that even the smallest smartphone interaction could spell disaster. Thankfully, Google Maps has rolled out an overdue feature that'll help ensure a safer drive.
When driving, you can get directions hands-free by asking Siri. You can also make general map searches, show a location's details, call a query's phone number, and view traffic details. However, Siri defaults to Apple Maps for all those. If you prefer Google Maps, Waze, or another third-party navigation app, the map-based Siri commands won't work. But that doesn't mean you can't still use Siri.
Millions depend on Google Maps for directions, and it's easy to see why. The app comes with tons of features like offline navigation, location sharing, and more. Google is far from done, however, and continually improves upon its navigation app to make it even more efficient and safer to use.
Google Maps 101: How to Tweak Voice Navigation Prompts on Android & iPhone for Clearer Spoken Directions
Before starting any drive where you're using Google Maps for directions, it's vital to make sure the app is functioning correctly, specifically, navigation prompts. After initiating turn-by-turn directions on your Android or iPhone, the last thing you want to worry about is Google Maps not audibly telling you where or when to turn, especially in an unfamiliar area.
With over 1 billion downloads on the Play Store alone, Google Maps has become a staple for those traveling. Its popularity is the result of Google consistently improving its accuracy and adding new functionality. And this was only achieved with help of you — specifically, your data.