Google Maps is one of the most used applications by users: here are some tips and tricks for using it at its best. There are applications on the smartphone that we now consider fundamental in everyday life. WhatsApp allows you to communicate quickly and for free with friends, relatives, and work colleagues. Facebook helps to keep us informed about the latest events. Finally, Google Maps has made it easier to travel from one part of the world to another.
Maps are present by default on all Android smartphones, and in recent years it has also become one of the most downloaded apps on the App Store. One of Google Maps’ success secrets is the Mountain View company’s ability to update the application with new features and tools frequently. The application is no longer just a service to get driving directions. Still, it is possible to know the bus timetables, the traffic situation in real-time, the position of speed cameras, or the restaurants and points of interest closest to us.
To make the most of all the features of Google Maps, you need to know some tricks from real professionals. Having become an application that offers dozens of different services, not everyone is aware of the app’s functionality. In this guide, you will find some simple Google Maps tricks that will make your life easier.
Zoom In And Out Of The Map
Perhaps it is still early to declare the pinch-to-zoom system retired and retired, but Google is working to find valid alternatives. And the work done on digital maps amply demonstrates this. The user can now zoom by quickly double-tapping the screen, or you can zoom in or out on the map by tapping the screen twice and, remaining with your finger on the display, moving it up or down depending on whether you want to zoom in or out.
Google Maps allows you to search, quickly and easily, for a souvenir shop or a typical restaurant where to eat. After finding what interests you and selecting one of the results, you can read information about the shop (or restaurant, museum, etc.) simply by scrolling up and down the screen. On the other hand, if you scroll left or right, you go to the next (or previous) result.
Explore The Surroundings
You are in an unfamiliar area of the city and want to discover commercial activities – restaurants, bars, hotels, museums, etc. – which are nearby? Just click on the search field and select the item to explore. At this point, the list of categories will appear from which to choose what is most interesting.
Also, from Google Maps, you can access the street view ( Street View ) simply by touching for a few seconds the point of the map that interests you and waiting for the pin to appear on the map. By scrolling up the screen, more information on the chosen point appears, including the Street View.
Users who have the latest version of Google Maps installed on their device (at the moment, this feature is only available for Android) will be able to know the travel time from the office to home without having to set the destination. Thanks to predictive indications, the digital cartography application developed in the Googleplex laboratories will be able to tell you in advance how long it will take you to complete the daily journey.
However, you need to set your home address and work address in your Google account for predictive indications to work. At this point, by starting the navigation mode and without the need to set any route, the map will show the time needed to cover the distance between the office and home (or vice versa).
As is well known, Google keeps a large part of our data and information to provide more and more precise and timely results. Google Maps, like all other Big G services, of course, is no exception. And it is thanks to this data. Users can check the History of their movements on Google’s digital cartography service.
By accessing the left menu (swipe from the left edge to the right to see it appear). Thanks to the selection menu at the top of the screen, the user can choose a date from the calendar and check the movements of the previous days, with searches carried out and monuments visited—a useful tool to remember the restaurants, shops, and points of interest visited during your travels.
Google Maps Offline
Until some time ago, using Google Maps offline was a privilege reserved for a few geeks. Today anyone can access Google maps even without Internet connectivity. A useful feature, especially when you are traveling abroad, and you cannot use the data connectivity of your smartphone or tablet. To download offline maps, you will have to search for a city or an area within the application, press on the indicator, and click on Download on the screen that appears.
At this point, Google Maps will allow you to narrow the selection area and start the Download. The amount of data to download will be considerable: it is advisable to perform this operation when connected to a Wi-Fi line to avoid exceeding the data threshold set by your mobile phone contract.
Find Out About Local Transport Timetables
Planning a trip with Google Maps is easier than you might think. The Big G navigator offers indications on the fastest way to follow to reach your destination by car or on foot and by traveling by public transport. In this way, you can move to any big city in the world as if you were a “local”: you will instantly know the bus and metro timetables and find out if the vehicle is arriving or if it is late. It will be possible to plan trips from one part of the city to another by relying on the local public transport network.
Activate Augmented Reality
One of the latest features added by the developers is augmented reality that guides us around the city. What is it about? Using the smartphone camera and machine learning algorithms, Google Maps shows three-dimensional arrows on the screen indicating the path. The functionality, however, is not available for all users but only for the fifth level Local Guides. To activate augmented reality, you need to enter the Settings, press on Navigator Settings, and in the Driving Options section, you will find the item dedicated to augmented reality.
On Google Maps, you can create a list with your favorite places, such as bars, restaurants, or pizzerias. Creating a list or adding a place to an existing one is very simple: you have to enter the personal profile of the restaurant on Google Maps and press the Save icon. At this point, a pop-up screen will appear with all the lists present on the application and with a “New list” button to create a new one.
Set A Departure And Arrival Time
Google Maps is mainly used to get driving directions and check the traffic situation in real-time. Few, however, know a very useful trick that allows you to discover travel times by setting a precise time for both departure and arrival. Using the function is very simple: after entering the departure and arrival addresses, click on the icon with the three vertical dots and click on ” Set departure and arrival time. ” A mask will open in which to enter the time.
Use Voice Commands
If you’re driving, interacting with Google Maps is dangerous – a moment of distraction could cost you dearly. For this reason, voice commands have been integrated: you can interact with the application using your voice. Just press the icon with the microphone in the home and say, “Ok, Google.” The Android voice assistant will be activated, and you can begin to interact vocally with Google Maps.
Menu, Photos, And Reviews
For some time, Google Maps has also established itself as one of the largest user-curated review portals on the various businesses found on the map. This feature, then, proves particularly useful for hotels and restaurants: thanks to the contribution of Google users, it will be possible to read reviews on the activity and see photos of the rooms or dishes. There is no shortage of information on the menu, prices, and much more.
Telephone Numbers, Address, Opening Hours
Also, from the business card, it is possible to retrieve useful information on opening hours – and any extraordinary closures, the address of the headquarters (or addresses, in case they have more than one point of sale), and the telephone number, with a link direct that will allow you to call the place without having to write down the telephone number on a piece of paper.