Google Maps recently rolled out a number of new features and updates for its users. Some of the big highlights are highly commuter-focused, making things better for those suffering the daily drive and fighting rush hour traffic. The updates started rolling out for Android and iOS users in the first week of October; so, if you drive to work, take the bus, ride the train, or do a combination of these things, it’s time you learned what these new features are and how you can maximize their use.
The all-new Commuter tab is one of the biggest updates for Google Maps this year. This new commuter tab will enable you to plan your route before you leave home. You can access this tab if you want to learn about any traffic congestions or disruptions along your usual route. Since this information is available to you before departure, you will have the option to pick an alternative route. The idea is to help get you from your home to any destination with minimal hassle and disruptions on the road. This Google Maps feature provides you with real-time updates and notifications on the traffic situation.
For Android users, the notifications are given in real-time. You will be notified if there are any accidents that can cause congestion in traffic along certain routes. You will also be given specific travel information (such as the length of travel time) when you take certain routes. Not only does it help you avoid traffic, it also provides you with an overview of the fastest route to get to your destination.
The best thing about this new Google Maps update is that it is available in 80 regions worldwide. Depending on which region you are from, the actual functionalities available could vary. With this new feature, you will also be able to plan your transit route (such as when you take the bus or train). You will know exactly when the next bus or train will arrive. This is good news for commuters who want to reduce their waiting time to get to the bus or train. You can plan your commute ahead of time so you can catch the earliest bus or train possible. At the same time, it helps to ensure that you won’t miss your desired trip.
But that’s not all. If you live in certain cities, you can even get information on passenger capacity. This is the case in Sydney, wherein Google Maps users will now let you know through the app if there are seats available in an upcoming bus or train. Again, this is a practical feature that enables you to plan your commute ahead of time. This functionality will be rolled out to more cities “soon”, according to the developers. Once this feature is rolled out to the 80 regions where this update is available, it will bring added convenience for users.
The Google Maps Commute feature is suitable for any type of commute. You can use it while driving, riding a bus, or even walking! It’s especially useful if your commute involves multiple modes of transport, switching from car to train, bus to walking, etc. Based on your intended location (and the time you need to arrive there), you will be able to estimate what time you will arrive based on existing traffic conditions, when buses or trains depart, and how long it will take you to walk between stops. There won’t be a need to rush or feel like you are constantly catching up. You will have more control over your time, significantly minimizing the stress of daily commute.
In-App Music Support
This is another cool update for Google Maps, along with the Commuter feature. If you use Google Play Music, Spotify, or Apple Music, you can now control playback on your favorite tunes through the navigation app. There is no need to toggle between your music app and Google Maps. You can easily manage music playback from within the app.
Just like the Commuter tab, the functionalities of in-app music support will differ between Android and iOS devices. In particular, the Spotify integration will vary in terms of how you can browse audio content via the Maps app.
Maximizing the Google Maps Update
According to Ramesh Nagaraja, Group Product Manager at Google Maps, the goal of this update is to let users be in control of their daily commute. Using the tools available, you can plan ahead to avoid disruptions in your travel.
If you struggle daily to determine the right time to start your commute or the best route to take, you can now find confidence, convenience, and peace of mind with these new tools. If there are accidents on the road or other causes of traffic, leaving home at the same time as you normally do would mean delays, and maybe a more roundabout route will be beneficial. If the trains are running behind, or you’re using mixed-transportation to go somewhere for the first time, you won’t be running towards closing doors if you’ve planned ahead with the Google Maps Commute tab. Save time and get to where you want to be faster, with less confusion, and no more surprises!