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.
To try this out, you'll need to update your Google Maps app, which you can do with the links below. When you do, you'll be able to plan ahead by choosing arrival and/or departure times, which is ideal for seeing when you'll need to leave if you want to get to your destination by a specific time.
Scheduling a trip based on either when you'd like to leave for, or arrive to a desired location couldn't be easier with Google maps — simply input your destination as you normally would within the the search field along the top of the screen. Tap on "Directions" after doing so to yield available routes.
Afterward, choose the best route a from the selections given. From there, tap on the three-dot menu button on the upper-right and hit "Set depart & arrive time" (Android) or "Set a reminder to leave" (iOS) from the prompt.
Now, either set the time and date you want to "Depart At" on the time table given, or tap on the "Arrive By" tab on the upper-right and adjust the time and date the same way if you want to arrive by a certain time. Hit "Set" once you're done, and Google Maps will yield average travel times for the route, along with either an ETA if you picked the former, or a suggested time for departure if you chose the latter.
As handy as this new feature is, it's worth noting that it does have some limitations. Google Maps currently won't alert you via a notification if you set a departure time. Besides that, traffic conditions aren't updated in real-time, so arrival times can vary, and drastically change due to unforeseen events like traffic accidents and sudden weather downturns.