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How to use Google Maps better: Tips and Tricks to make navigating easier

From customising your favourite locations to hiding your search history, Google Maps has many lesser-known features. Here are some of them.

Google Maps has made travelling and navigating through unknown roads a whole lot easier. But did you know that apart from providing real-time navigation, Google Maps has many other great functionalities?

Here are some of the best Google Maps tips and tricks that are unknown to a lot of people.

Google Maps won’t let you be late

If you want to reach the destination by a particular time, you can set the departure and arrival time in the application. Google Maps will then show you what’s the best time for you to start travelling so that you reach the destination on time.

So, to use this feature you can select the destination on the app, then select set depart or arrive time from the drop-down menu at the top right corner. Then, enter your departure time and arrival time. Google Maps will tell you the best time that you can start travelling based on these timings.

Google Maps will hide your search history, location

Just like your web browser, you can set the incognito mode on your Google Maps application too. Doing so will prevent the application from storing any search data and your shared location will remain unchanged. All in all, none of your activity will be recorded.

You can enable this feature by clicking on your profile icon at the top right corner of the application and then selecting ‘Turn on Incognito mode’. The application will then restart on its own and you are good to go. You can turn off the settings in a similar manner.

Customise labels for favourite locations

If you want to add a custom name for your favourite picnic spot or your workplace on Google Maps, you can add private labels for these locations without having to search the address each and every time.

To do so, search for the address or drop the pin on the desired location on the map, tap on the name that appears at the bottom of the screen, select the drop-down menu at the top-right corner of the screen, select add label, then enter your desired name for the location. You can edit previously added labels in a similar manner.

Share real-time location on Google Maps

This feature is quite self-explanatory. You can share your real-time location with any of your contacts directly through the application.

To enable location sharing, click on the profile icon in the top right corner, select location sharing, set the time to a specific period or just select until you turn this off option and then select the contact you want to share the location with. The person will be able to see your location, your device’s battery status and your distance from them.

Alternatively, if you are taking a trip, for example in a cab, you can share your trip progress by starting the trip on the application, swiping up the bar at the bottom of the screen, selecting Share trip progress and finally selecting the contact.

Access Google Maps without internet

This feature allows you to travel to a location by using the offline mode, which means without an active internet connection. This feature is especially useful when you travel to places with limited or no internet connectivity.

All you have to do is when you have internet, select the location on the map, tap on the name that appears at the bottom of the screen, select the drop-down menu at the top-right corner of the screen, select download offline map, and follow the prompts.

Add missing place or edit existing place

Google Maps allows you to make contributions such as adding a missing place or editing one on the map.

All you have to do is, select the contribute option at the bottom of the screen, select edit map, select add or fix a road (for roads) or add or fix a place (for other options), and follow the prompts.

COVID-19 layer

This new feature shows the COVID-19 impact in an area by displaying the seven-day average for the number of new cases per 100,000 people, along with a notation which shows whether the cases are increasing or decreasing.

The feature adds a layer of different colours on the map which indicates the number of COVID-19 cases in an area.

Muskan Bagrecha
Muskan is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor's in Technology. With a zealous spirit for writing, she finds herself open to the vast realm of learning. She is an avid programmer with a keen interest in technology and science.

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