The well-known Google Maps app has many useful features that you might not even know exist and can make your daily commute easier.
Driving to work, on errands, searching for the nearest store or gas station, searching for parking spaces or planning a trip… You’re very likely to open the Google Maps app on your smartphone at least once in the meantime. By far the most popular and widespread location app has many features (hidden and lesser known) that can save you a lot of frustration and inconvenience while driving a car, public passenger transportation or even walking.
In case you have never used Google Maps before, you are very brave and confident in your navigation skills. However, you make your job more difficult, as you can have a very reliable and intelligent co-pilot with you all the time, who will easily take you from point A to point B.
Here are some of the features that will convince you to use Google Maps or upgrade your existing usage. You will also learn about some similar location apps that work similarly or even better to Google Maps.
What is Live View in Google Maps?
When you park your car a few blocks from the actual destination, which is very common in crowded Ljubljana, it is difficult to find your way by following the blue dots on your smartphone screen. Fortunately, Google has put together a handy Live View tool that lets you know exactly where you’re going. All you have to do is pick up the phone, point the camera, and give Google access to the camera.
The feature uses a mobile camera to scan the buildings around you and places a huge arrow on the screen to help you find the exact location of the target. How do you start?
Enter the desired destination in the Google Maps application and click on directions. Select the Walk icon in the top toolbar. The app will find a passage to your chosen location. Click the Live View button at the bottom of the screen next to the Start button. Follow the instructions to give Google access to the camera. Point the latter at the shops, shop windows, and surrounding signs. As you continue on your way, large arrows and street names will appear on the screen to guide you to your destination.
google maps offline
How many times have Google Maps let you down because of bad mobile signal? In the concrete jungle, this can happen at any time, because we are surrounded at every turn by a signal jammer. It’s good that Google Maps is smart enough and also works offline when needed. How do you prepare the entire course before leaving?
Enter the destination specified in the application. Click the place name or address at the bottom of the screen. Click the Save button in the Start button, Directions, Contacts…. If you can’t find the button, tap the More icon in the upper right corner, then tap Download Offline Map.
When you find yourself without a signal, offline navigation will be available based on the saved map.
Hide website with incognito mode
Incognito mode is already familiar to you in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and others. Also in this case, it is a feature that hides your search history from potential troubles and other users of your phone or user account. If you want to surprise your partner with a special gift, you can hide the history of your visits to other stores and sites. This will ensure that the surprise is real.
Open the Google Maps app, tap on your profile icon in the upper right corner (next to the search bar), and select Turn on Incognito. When you’re ready to turn off Incognito mode, follow the same steps.
In private mode, Google Maps will not allow you to save your browsing or search history, send notifications, update your location history, or use your activity to customize Maps.
Stop planning in Google Maps
If you want Google Maps to plan your route in detail and make sure you get to your destination on time, include all your planned stops.
Enter your final destination in the app. Click on Directions and then the More icon (three dots) in the upper right corner. Select Add station where you can add any number of stops. When finished, the maps will be updated and you will have the real time to reach your destination.
How easy is it to find a parking space?
If your most common parking spaces are full and you don’t want to wander aimlessly in side streets hoping for a free parking spot, you can use Google Maps. This tip is very similar to the stop planning trick.
Select a destination, click on directions, zoom in on the map around the final destination, and find the nearest parking sign (blue P icon). Click the icon and then Add Stop.
Before you leave, see what a store, restaurant, hotel, or other building looks like on Live Street View. If you are traveling abroad and want to see the exterior of the hotel where you will be staying for the next 14 days, use Street View.
Find the location you want to display in the Google Maps app. In the lower left corner you will notice a frame with a picture of the selected site. This is a street photo of the area you want to see. You can zoom in or out, and you can scroll down the path by tapping the screen.
Share the location with loved ones
You have to turn on Location Sharing first. Click on your profile icon and select Share location. Select the time to share (from 15 minutes to 24 hours) and who you want to give the tracking access to your location. You can select contacts in the phonebook and other applications, such as Messenger, Gmail, and more.
You can do the same with the itinerary. If you have a coffee date with a friend, you can send them a link to track your current location. Select a destination, tap the More icon in the upper right corner, and select Share location.
Alternative to Google Maps
If you are not satisfied with Google Maps or do not want to share this information with Google, you have a few alternatives that will help you find your destination: MAPS.ME, Bing Maps, Navmii, MapQuest, Sygic Maps, Waze, here we go.. .