How to use Google Maps effectively; 5 tips and tricks that you may not yet know

Google Maps for Android come with many useful features that work great for everyday navigation.

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Google Maps for Android has changed a lot lately. The Search giant has raised the bar with more features like offline maps, real-time traffic accuracy, better route planning and more. Most of us rely on Google Maps to get the turn-by-turn navigation, on road traffic, drive time and other such information to navigate faster and easier daily. But there are so many hidden things within the Maps that you might not know about. We have tried to list some of the features that can make your day-to-day travel much more convenient than you ever imagined.

1. No manual searching, use simple voice command to Navigate directly

Searching an address in Google and then selecting Maps to navigate takes a little extra effort and is not handy when you are driving. So here’s a little tip.

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Rather than manually searching for a Place to get directions, you should instead tap on the mic icon in Google app (a.k.a Google Search app) and then use voice command “Navigate to (Place name)”. It will not only search that place for you, but also open the Maps app to start navigation directly. If your device works with ‘Ok Google’ command, then just say the ‘Navigate’ phrase after it. Although some of you might know it already, but there are still quite-a-few that uses the traditional method of searching first and then navigate.

2. Find ‘Chole Bhature’ or ‘Butter Chicken’ near you?

This ‘Nearby’ places feature in Google Maps comes in handy when you are at a new place and don’t know anything around. All you need to do is just open Google Maps and tap on Search bar. Here you’ll see that Google already has a list of categories to choose from – Restaurants, Petrol stations, ATMs, Chemist, Hotels and more.

But if you want to find something else and that thing is not from those categories then you can simply search with a generic name like Chicken, Chole Kulche, Chole Bhature, CNG Filling Stations etc.

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3. ‘Start Driving’ feature in Google Maps app

The ‘Start Driving’ feature gives you a quick look at the traffic near you. A simple command – “Ok Google, Start Driving” – takes you right in the app and you are done. Here you can follow up with another voice command to add destination. Once you are in the app, then you can again follow up with an additional command saying ” Ok Google, Navigate to X”.

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Sometimes Google takes your most frequent destination automatically, but you can cancel it and can keep the Maps in drive mode.

4. ‘Add Stop’ to your existing route

If you are driving to a destination but suddenly decide to take a stop at some place in-between or want to en-route another place on the way, then all you need to do is tap on three dots in top right corner on the directions screen, where you put start and destination and then select ‘Add Stop’ in menu.

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This even allows you to add multiple stops, but just make sure that you long press on Stop A, B, C to move up and down in-order of your preference.

– Use voice method to ‘Add Stop’ –

This is little annoying method if you are in Navigation screen, so for that you can either tap on the mic symbol on the top right corner or if your phone supports ‘Ok, Google’ command then ask Google to serach for a particular place and it will show you results on the way. Now once you tap on the particular result, the map adds it as a stop in the existing route.

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5. Look for a place you’d visited once upon a time

If you don’t remember where did you go last then Google might have saved that location for you in Google Maps app. You can rediscover the locations and places that you’d travelled from ‘Your timeline’ located in the swipe out left menu and it has all that information saved from the past, based on your Location History. You can simply tap on the Calendar icon in top right corner to see that for a particular date as well.

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Bonus Tip:

6. Mark/ Label your Home, Office, Meeting addresses and more

If you use Google Maps a lot, then this feature is a must for frequent travelers. Google Maps allows you to ‘Label’ a place to a certain name (Home or Work) and now when next time if you need to navigate to that place from anywhere, then just use above Step 1 and replace the place name with the saved name.

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