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Latest and lesser-known Google Maps features that'll help you navigate better

Latest and lesser-known Google Maps features that'll help you navigate better

Latest and lesser-known Google Maps features that'll help you navigate better
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By CNBC-TV18 Nov 28, 2018 1:10:36 PM IST (Published)

Alphabet-run Google's Google Maps app, one of the most popular navigation mobile applications, has come out with new updates aiming to make a commuter's life easier.

Alphabet-run Google's Google Maps app, one of the most popular navigation mobile applications, has come out with new updates aiming to make a commuter's life easier.

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The navigation tool is available on personal computers as well. However, most of the below features are exclusive to mobile phones only.
Here's what the updated Google Maps has in store for commuters:
Commute
The app has launched a new feature called 'Commute' that helps commuters to plan their daily trip to work. It tracks live traffic and transit information on public transportation. In India, commuters can get information on the nearest local train and metro stations, bus rides and how much time it will take to reach bus stop or the station from the starting point. This feature is not available on personal computers.
Steps to use the feature:
  • Open Google Maps.
  • Click on the 'Commute' tab, which you will find on the bottom-right of your phone.
  • Click on the three dots at the top of your mobile screen.
  • Click on 'Commute Settings'.
  • Put in your home and work addresses and answer the questions - how you commute, your daily commute time and turn on the notifications to get live updates on the traffic before you leave.
  • Book A Cab While Using App
    Now, a commuter can see cab prices while using the app. For Indian commuters, there is an option to book a cab from Ola, Uber and Meru. This can be done while searching for a destination from the starting point. Note that this feature is not available on personal computers.
    Here is a step-by-step guide to use the feature:
    • Open Google Maps.
    • Enter a destination and choose the option of cab-hailing (icon of a person with their hand in the air) which is next to the walking option.
    • On the bottom of the screen, you'll see the prices for Ola, Uber and Meru.
    • Click on the type of ride and click 'open app'.
    • Indoor Maps
      One of the lesser-known features of the app is that a user can find the way around a public spot like a mall. For example, the app helps a user discover a shop within a mall. Remember that this feature is available on personal computers also.
      Steps to use the feature:
      • Open Google Maps.
      • Search for the public place you are in like an airport or a mall.
      • Zoom in close to that building which is pinned on the navigation app.
      • As you get closer, if you are in a mall, you will see stores and other points of interest.
      • If there are multiple floors, then click on the numbers which are to the left of the screen to switch between the floors.
      • Check How Busy A Place Is 
        If one is planning to visit a shop, a restaurant or a cafe and is eager to know how busy it will be at the time he or she is reaching the spot, then the user can check by searching for the place on the app. This feature can be used if you are planning an impromptu visit to the restaurant without booking a table. This feature is available on personal computers also.
        Steps to use the feature:
        • Open Google Maps.
        • Type in the place you are planning to visit.
        • Tap and pull from the bottom of the screen to see more information of the place.
        • Scroll down to where it shows you 'Popular Times'.
        • You'll see how busy is the location at different times of the day.
        • You can also tap on the day you are planning to visit the location in the future, to see how busy was the location on certain days of the week.
        • Nearest ATMs and Petrol Pumps 
          This feature has been a part of the mobile application for a quite some time now. It helps a user to find the nearest ATMs, petrol pumps, among others. This feature is available on personal computers also.
          Steps to use the feature:
          • Open Google Maps.
          • Select the 'Explore' option on the bottom left.
          • Tap the green 'More' icon and you will find various categories - food and drink, things to do, shopping and services. The various categories can help one find the facilities close to their current location. Under services, you can find the option of ATMs, petrol pumps, etc.
          • Check For Events And Attractions Nearby
            One of the latest updates on the navigator is a user can explore that is nearby to their current location. The user can find the nearest attractions and events being held on that particular day. This feature is not available on personal computers.
            Steps to use the feature:
            • Open Google Maps.
            • Tap 'Events' under 'Explore Nearby' at the bottom of the screen.
            • Scroll through the events.
            • You can also tap on the event which interests you to learn more about it, such as where you can buy tickets, among others.
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