The good people over at Google Maps have been on quite the roll lately. So many new features have been introduced in the last month alone that it’s easy to lose track if you are not paying attention. So we thought it would be a good idea to compile the most important features here in one place. Let’s begin…
Commuting Made Easy
For many of us, the daily commute is one of the most taxing parts of the day. Encountering unexpected traffic on reaching the subway station in a hurry only to find that the train will be delayed is enough to put a damper on a perfectly good morning. Which is why Google Maps has taken it upon itself to provide stressed-out commuters with customized live traffic and transit information.
Simply set up your commute on Google Maps and receive one-tap access to notifications about any delays or disruptions on your route in real time. The feature works on both driving and ‘walking + public transport’ mode. And if there is a delay, Google Maps will give you handy suggestions like alternative routes, departure time of the next train, revised walking time, etc., to help you reach your destination as quickly as possible. Available on both Android and iOS.
In-app Music Controls
Nevertheless, live alerts do not guarantee that you will not get stuck in traffic ever. So, if you want to take refuge in good music will waiting out the delay, you no longer have to toggle between Maps and your favorite music app. Google Maps is making Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music available right within the navigation app. And if you use Spotify on Android, you can easily browse through songs, albums, podcasts, and playlists directly from Google Maps.
EV Charging Station Locator
Electric vehicle drivers no longer need to use multiple apps whose only purpose is to locate charging stations in the proximity of driver location. By searching for ‘ev charging’ or ‘EV charging stations’ on Google Maps, Android and iOS users will be able to see EV charging stations nearest to them, along with useful information like charging speeds, types and numbers of ports available etc.
At present, the supported stations include:
Global: Tesla, Chargepoint
United States: SemaConnect, EVgo, Blink
United Kingdom: Chargemaster, Pod Point
Australia and New Zealand: Chargefox
Improved Journey Sharing
How many times have you had to take your eyes off the road because a loved one was calling to check on you? Google Maps’ enhanced journey sharing feature aims to ensure nothing distracts you while you are on the road. Simply tap on the ˄ button once you have started the navigation and click ‘Share trip progress.’ You will not only be able to provide your live location to your loved ones, your route information and ETA will also be shared. This feature has been rolled out for both Android and iOS.
Follow Places and Businesses
The newest feature on Google Maps for Android looks like something Google can easily monetize from in the future. The navigation app is inviting people to ‘Follow’ businesses they like to stay abreast with all the latest offers and events from those outlets. These updates will show in the ‘For You’ tab which was launched in select countries earlier this year.
Google is also giving an opportunity to new businesses to set up their profile on Maps three months prior to their opening date, so they can create a buzz about their offerings and rope in more footfall.
So, what do you think about these new capabilities of Google Maps? Useful or unnecessary? Let us know in the comments below!