Google’s online mapping service is among the most popular in the world, bringing detailed information to countless millions of mobile devices. While the search giant isn’t above filling its maps up with Pokemon characters for April Fool’s day, the company has also built in a multitude of useful features which may not be immediately obvious to the user. Here we take a look at some of the best, to make it easier for you to find your way around.
Save maps offline
Many smartphone sat nav apps store their maps offline, which is handy but can take up a huge amount of space on your device. Google has a useful work around, allowing you to cache just a small amount of map space to your handset.
Just open up the area that you want to save on your screen then type ‘ok maps’ into the search bar. After a few seconds, that area of the world will be stored offline for those times you don’t have any network connection.
Find business details
Along with specific places, Google Maps allows you to use more general search terms and still delivers appropriate results. This is a great feature that does an excellent job of combining the mapping service with Google’s regular search function.
Simply type in a vague term, ‘chips’ for instance, and swipe upward from the information bar that appears at the bottom edge of the screen. You can then swipe left to bring up different information cards about the various chippies and take aways around you.
Save your home and work addresses
Google Maps can be personalised with your own address, making it much faster to get directions and traffic updates for your journey.
Tap the head-and-shoulders icon in the app’s top right and enter the addresses you want to save. This also means that Google Now will be able to offer you personalised traffic and journey information at a glance, which is very handy indeed.
Start turn-by-turn navigation quickly
Google Maps works well as a sat nav app, offering detailed turn-by-turn navigation. There’s a quick way of getting to this function too.
After selecting your destination, just press and hold on the transport icon (a blue car, if you’re driving) that sits at the bottom right of the display. You’ll have your route up in no time at all.
Google’s good at filling its software up with handy hidden features. If you’re browsing your maps on an Android smartphone and want to know more about what the device can do, take a look at our tips on getting the most out of the platform.