Google Maps is among the most widely used applications to have come out of the tech giant's Mountain View, California, headquarters. Over time, since its release in February 2005, Maps has become indispensable for travellers, fitness enthusiasts, and businesses alike. Here are some tricks and tips that will help you get more out of Maps the next time you hit the road.
1. Save Home and Work.
Google Maps lets you save certain locations as 'Home' and 'Work'. This lets you check the traffic situation faster during your daily office commute. You can go to 'Settings' and click on 'Edit home or work' to add or edit the locations.
2. Save Maps offline
Internet connectivity can be uneven in India, even if you are in a metro city. At such times, saving maps on your mobile device can come in quite handy. You can download the map for the area around your home location, or any area for that matter, through the Offline maps section in the hamburger menu. Once you select the area, the app will tell you how much storage space on the phone it will take up to save the map of that area and when the download will expire. This can be quite useful ahead of a road trip to an unfamiliar place.
3. Search Nearby
Again if you are heading to a new place, or you are out already and just want to explore what is around you, 'Nearby' is a great option. If you search on the blank search bar, you will see options such as 'ATM,' 'Coffee,' and 'Shopping.' If you click on 'more,' you will get additional options such as 'Bars,' 'Hotels,' 'Parking,' 'Post Offices' and more. You can click any of these or even perform a specific search such as "Pizza near me."
4. Book a cab directly from Maps
When you select a place on Google Maps and click for directions, besides providing directions for car, public transport and walking you will also see a cab hailing option on the right-most.
You can call an Ola or Uber cab directly from there, once you have linked your accounts. This option will also show you the cabs nearby and the prices for each of them.
5. The one-handed zoom
While it is easy to zoom in or out by pinching on the screen, you can do it another way too. Just place your thumb anywhere on the map and move another finger to zoom in and out.
6. Voice search commands
If you are finding it hard to type, there are easy voice commands at your disposal such as "Navigate to home," "What is my ETA?" "Where is the nearest coffee shop?" and more.
7. Saved places.
Besides 'Home' or 'Work,' you can save other locations on Maps, such as your friend's place or your favourite café. You just have to tap on the desired location and open the detail card. There you will get the option to save. All your saved locations can then be accessed through the 'Saved Places' menu.
8. Relive your trips with 'History'
Google Maps can retrace your recent trips. On top of it, if you have photos saved from that trip in Google Photos, you can see them alongside your trail. Here is the link where you can access all the related information.
9. Add multiple stops in your journey
Going for a movie and have to pick a friend on the way? You can now add multiple stops when you feed your destination. Maps will choose the shortest path accordingly, passing through all the stops you have added. Click on the top right menu after selecting a path and select the 'Add stop' option to add a place before or after the selected destination.
10. Send directions
If you are looking at directions on your desktop, you will see an option to send the directions to your phone so you don't have to search for the place again. Alternatively, you can email or text the directions to someone.
Google Maps is being used by many applications in India now, such as Zomato, Tinder, Uber and Ola. If you know of any such apps, do let us know.