Google Maps has added several new features to its app that you’ll be able to use in the coming weeks on iOS and Android. The latest update will be more helpful by providing you with the best route to take while cycling and can also alert you when a friend or relative arrives safely on site.
Read on to see what the newest features are, as well as six lesser-known features we recommend trying to help make getting to your destination easier. For more, discover the hidden Google Maps tricks for travelers.
New: Get Google Maps notifications when friends arrive or leave a location
Google has added a new feature to its Maps app that notifies you when a friend or relative arrives to or from a particular place. For example, if you’re waiting for a friend to meet you at a concert, you can request to be notified when they arrive at the venue. The person you want notifications for must first share their location with you; they will also be notified when you submit the request and can decline it.
To get started, select your profile icon and tap Location sharing. Select the person you want to request location notifications from the list. Then choose Add to add an address to receive updates from your friend. You will then select a specific location as well as when to be notified (arrival or departure) and tap Save.
This feature is now rolling out to Android and iPhone users.
New: Use immersive view to see landmarks in aerial view
As the start of the launch Google’s new Immersive View feature, it releases aerial views of nearly 100 landmarks in cities like Barcelona, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. With this update, you can get a virtual view of structures like the Empire State Building. You can see if a building is available by searching for a landmark on Google Maps and going to the Photos section.
New: Get more detailed information about a cycling route
If you bike almost everywhere, you’ll soon be able to compare bike routes to determine which way to go. You’ll also be able to see the altitude along the route, what the traffic is like, and whether there will be stairs or steep hills. The route will show whether you will be cycling on a main road or a local street.
Google said it will begin rolling out this new feature in the coming weeks in cities where bike directions are available.
1. Use Live View to guide you to your destination as you walk
When you’ve parked your car five blocks from your destination, it can be difficult trying to follow a little blue dot to figure out where you’re going. with Google’s Live View toolyou can see exactly where you are going by raising your phone screen.
The feature uses your camera to scan the buildings around you and puts a giant arrow on the display to help you find the exact location you need to be. Here’s how to use it.
1. In the Google Maps app, enter your destination and tap Directions.
2. Choose walking icon at the top of the map screen.
3. At the bottom of the screen, tap Live button. Is located next to Get started button.
4. Point your camera at buildings and street signs (note that you’ll need to give the app access to your camera). When you start walking towards your destination, large arrows and the street name will appear on your screen to guide you.
2. Download routes when you lose phone signal
It never fails. When you need directions the most, your phone loses signal. Fortunately, Google Maps lets you download your route ahead of time so you never have to worry about getting lost. This trick is especially useful if you’re traveling in an area with poor cell phone coverage.
1. Enter your destination in Google Maps app.
2. At the bottom of the screen, tap the name or address of the place.
3. Scroll right and tap Download.
4. Touch Download again. The map for the area you selected will now be available to you offline.
3. Keep your destinations private with incognito mode.
A feature for Android and iPhone users lets you go incognito while using Google Maps. This means you can hide your location from other Maps users, as well as the locations you’ve searched for. So if you’re trying to surprise your special someone with a fancy necklace, this is what you should do.
Open the Google Maps app, tap your profile icon in the top right corner, and select Turn on incognito Mode. When you are ready to turn off the setting, follow the same steps and select Turn off incognito mode..
4. Include multiple travel stops to get an accurate ETA
If Google says your trip will take seven hours, but it ends up being eight, it could be because you didn’t include multiple stops along the way. Google Maps allows you to add stops so you can get a more accurate destination time.
1. In the Google Maps app, enter your first destination, such as a gas station or coffee shop.
2. Touch Directions.
3. Tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner.
4. Touch Add a stop. Add as many stops as you expect.
5. Press Done when you finish adding stops. Now you’ll get a more accurate ETA when planning trips.
5. Find a place to park your car
It’s important to know where you can and can’t park your car, especially if you’re running late for work or driving to an unfamiliar location. Instead of driving around and hoping you’ll eventually find a parking spot, use Google Maps to point you in the right direction.
1. In the Google Maps app, enter the location where you need to park or nearby.
2. Touch Directions.
3. Zoom in on the location to see all P icons located near your destination. Tap a P (for parking).
4. Touch Add a stop. The parking lot will be added as the first stop on your route and you can continue to your next destination.
6. Use Street View to see real photos of your destinations
Photos can be deceiving, so before you book a hotel that looks nice, use Street View to see how it looks on Google Maps first. Next year, Google expects is launching a completely new Street View camera next year to help map and capture images from far-flung corners of the world.
1. In the Google Maps app, search for a location, such as a hotel, where you’re considering staying.
2. In the lower left corner you will notice a small box with a picture of the building. This is the Street View of the area, so tap on it to see what it looks like.
3. You can zoom in and out by sliding your finger across the screen.
Want more tips? Look at these hidden features of Google Maps for travelers which you may not know about.