Google Maps has become so pervasive and useful since its launch in 2005 that it is practically impossible to remember how we managed to move without it. From seeing how long it takes from A to B, to discovering interesting restaurants and places, it is an invaluable resource for getting around both known and unknown areas.
And, of course, even Google Maps has come a long way in its fifteen years of life. Here are some of the most useful features of the popular Google navigation app.
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Google Maps can be very useful for looking for directions in advance, but be sure to change the time slot to match it at the time of the planned trip. This will allow Google to provide the most accurate results based on traffic patterns and other variables.

To do this, press the “Departure” button at the top of the screen, just below where Google lists the modes of transport available.

Make a list of your favourite places.

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If you often have difficulty keeping track of the places you frequently go to, Google Maps can be helpful. Just press the “Save” button at the bottom of the screen, choose “Favourite places”, and press “Add” again to save your favourite restaurant or bar in the area.

Or get a recommendation from Google

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If you’re not sure where to go, take a look at the “Explore” section in Google Maps at the bottom of the screen. This section will provide you with recommendations based on your location and other factors. You will find many restaurants and bars in the area, local events and much more.

Use the “Go” button to view information about your route with a single touch

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The button makes it easy to view information about your daily journey by car or train to work.

First make sure that Google Maps knows the address of your office by pressing on your profile photo in the upper right corner. Then press “Your data in Maps” to see the home and office addresses you have saved in Google Maps.

Once the address of your office has been updated, press the “Route” button between the “Explore” and “Saved” buttons at the bottom of the screen to see the details of your route.

Download maps to use offline

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If you go through an isolated area, you may not always be able to access a reliable internet service. Google allows you to download maps of some areas in order to view them without a WiFi or data connection.

To do this, look for the area, for example a neighbourhood or an entire city, that you want to download. Then scroll down to the bottom of the screen up to the “Directions” button and scroll sideways to the “Download” button.

If you don’t find this option, look for the area, touch the account photo to launch the menu and choose “Offline maps” and then “Custom map”.

Remember that offline maps can only provide driving directions and traffic information will not be available.

Or turn on Incognito mode if you want to search for a place without saving it in Google history

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Last year, Google launched the Incognito mode for Google Maps, a feature that allows you to search for places on the app without saving the search on your account.

It’s very similar to Incognito mode on Chrome, which means it prevents Google from saving your search history to your account and using it to personalise Maps. But it will not prevent the search from being saved or used by internet service providers and other apps.

To activate Incognito mode, open the Google Maps app, touch your profile photo and press “Activate incognito mode”.

Add a stop to your trip

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Sometimes travel isn’t just about going from A to B. You may have to pick up a friend, refuel, or eat something quickly along the way. On Google Maps, you can easily add such a stop to your route.

Once the journey has started, touch the area down on the screen where the estimated travel time appears. Then press “Search along the route” and search for your desired stop. You can type in a particular address or place of general interest, such as “Restaurants” or “Service Stations”.

Google will search for locations that match your request along the way. When you find what you want to add as a stop, just tap the map and Google will add it to your trip.

See the traffic situation at your destination

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Google Maps doesn’t just help you get from A to B; can also assist you in finding a parking space once you arrive. When looking for directions, go to the “P” icon circled below the estimated travel time. You will find out if parking is usually limited near the destination.

And then have Google help you remember where you parked

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It can be difficult to remember where you parked, especially if you are in an unknown place. Fortunately, Google Maps can help you. Just open the app and tap on the small blue dot that indicates your location. A menu should appear at the bottom of the screen with the “Set as parking location” option.

Share your location with a friend

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Sometimes you may want to tell a friend or family member exactly how much time is left on your arrival. To simplify sharing the estimated time of arrival at your destination, use the “Share your location” function in Google Maps.

Touch the section at the bottom of the screen where the app shows the time remaining on arrival. Then choose “Share your location”. From there, you can choose a contact to share your location with until you arrive at your destination.

Google will suggest a list of contacts, and you can also choose to share your location via text message or email, among the “Other options”.

Point a pin to show friends where you are

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If you are in a crowded public place, such as a park or music festival, it may be difficult to describe your exact location. Here’s when it might be useful to point a pin in Google Maps.

You just have to keep your finger pressed on the screen to point a pin to the desired position. You can then label it and share it with a friend or family member by pressing the button at the bottom of the screen.

Use augmented reality to direct you in the right direction

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Google can use your camera to remove any doubts when you try to understand if you are walking in the right direction. Recently, the company has developed a feature called Live View for Google Maps, which allows you to view visual indicators in the real world while looking through your camera’s viewer.