Google Maps has forever changed the mobility of millions of people around the world: here is all you can do using this application.
Google Maps is a historic and pioneering app of its kind , which has introduced a new way to use technology, forever changing the mobility of millions of people around the world. The Google multimedia maps have sanctioned the abandonment of the old road maps, they have allowed us to move around optimizing the routes, avoiding getting lost while traveling in unknown places.
This application is now supported by other programs, such as Waze, NavMii and Sygic GPS, however it remains one of the most used for navigation and route planning. The latest versions have been enriched with new features, which make the app even more useful and full of integrated services, such as augmented reality. Here are all the features of Google Maps and how to best use them.
What it is and how Google Maps works
Google Maps is an app for mobile devices, smartphones and Android tablets, which allows you to locate your location and calculate road journeys. The application boasts over 5 billion downloads on Google Play Store , an extraordinary success sign of the quality of the GPS navigation system. The latest version was released March 7, 2019, and has been enhanced with new features such as offline maps, Street View and interior images of some important places, including airports and stadiums.
Once the app is downloaded to your mobile device, you can set your personal settings by entering some addresses such as your home, workplace or other frequent destinations. In this way they can be found using the quick searches , avoiding to write the entire address each time. Opening a map you can view all the information on the spot, activating a special window.
In addition, you can measure distances between two destinations, search for the place on the internet browser, zoom in on the image or enlarge the frame. When you activate Google Maps you can also see your geographical position, to understand where you are at any time, while the app shows all the places of interest close to your location , thanks to the GPS signal.
Voice searches with Google Maps
The latest versions of Google Maps allow you to make voice searches , a feature that avoids having to write the address, which instead can be dictated to the application. This is an extremely useful service , especially when you are driving a vehicle, as it allows you not to take your hands off the wheel or shift your attention from the road to the phone.
To activate the voice function just open the app, providing the main command “Ok Google”. Then you can request information such as the name of the road you are taking, the traffic conditions , or where the nearest filling stations are. In addition, you can tell Google Maps to plan a toll-free route , do not include highways on the route, look for a nearby hotel or restaurant.
In the same way it can connect with other phone applications , so it is able to receive voice commands to make calls, send messages, activate music playback and read appointments marked on the smartphone’s calendar. The voice mode is not always perfect, in fact it becomes more reliable by using it often, thanks to modern machine learning and artificial intelligence systems .
How to use Google Maps offline
One of the new features is offline maps , a useful service to save data traffic , or if the connection is too slow. First you need to open Google Maps, choose a destination or location and save the map on your device , selecting from the “Download” settings and opting for “Download offline map”.
The maps can also be transferred to an external memory , for example on a microSD card, all you have to do is choose the device from within the settings before ending the download. Offline you can also continue to get directions, however the service can be used for car journeys , while it is not available for travel by bicycle or on foot.
To update offline maps , which automatically expire after 15 days, simply select them and opt for the “Update” item. The downloaded files are saved in the phone memory, so they can be viewed at any time , even without any internet connection. The offline mode allows you to still receive suggestions and warnings from Google Maps, although they are not as reliable as those in the online version.
How to find parking with Google Maps
The 2019 version of Google Maps has added the parking feature , with which you can find parking areas or save the car’s position . This makes it easy to find your vehicle, just open the app and follow the path until you reach the car. The parking mode can only be used on Android mobile devices , but does not work with iPhone and iPad.
In addition to this you can take pictures of the parking lot, set a timer to receive an alert after a certain time, or get a parking notification from Google Maps . Instead the service to search for free parking is not yet available in Dubai, but only in some areas and cities of the United States. In the USA, in fact, it is possible to find parking spaces in the vicinity of your position, taking advantage of satellite navigation.
Measure the distance between two points with Google Maps
Knowing the distance between two points on the map can serve various purposes, for example to calculate the travel time , the cost and the amount of petrol needed, or to organize a trip. With Google Maps this is very easy, just click with the right mouse button, or touch the place and hold for a few seconds, selecting the “Measure distance” option.
From the Lite version you can activate the icon with the flash symbol , to calculate the distance automatically. The operation can be modified at will, choosing other points from the map or adding one to those already present, while to eliminate them you have to drag them off the screen with your finger or mouse. Distances are provided in two units of measure , in kilometers and miles.
How to view the interior maps of the structures
Google Maps not only allows you to see the outside, but also the interiors of some important buildings, structures and places. For example, you can explore buildings , including places like restaurants, hotels and shops , view photos uploaded by other users or enter your own shots to help other people.
To activate this function you need to open Maps, type in the desired address or place, touch the place name and scroll down until you reach the photos. Selecting “Other photos” it is possible to see further images of the place , taken from the app directly from the network. To move inside the building just use the white arrows, or scroll the screen.
With Google Maps you can also consult some floor plans , for example of places like airports and shopping centers, increasing the view with the zoom feature, or moving using the directional arrows. The floor plans can be updated, just send the most recent ones to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Street View and Google Maps: how to use it
The latest additions to Google Maps include the Street View, an extremely interesting feature, similar to the visualization of the interiors of buildings. In this case you can see streets, famous places, museums, restaurants and shops , walking virtually along the path of 3D maps of Google Maps , as if you were actually on the spot, through the photos contained in the Steet View database .
To activate the mode just search for a destination or place, touch the point and select the photo by choosing the item “Street View”, or press your finger on the thumbnail with the round arrow symbol. The images can be explored, looking around using the arrows , you can use both the zoom and the view from above, plus you can share photos with your contacts, touching the three dots and selecting “Share”.
Google Maps: train timetables and services for commuters
One of the app’s most interesting services, present in the most recent versions, is the ability to view train times on Google Maps for commuters , a feature that helps you find information without opening the browser for browsing the web . By tapping or clicking on the bus stop, or train or subway station, you can find out all the schedules made by that service.
In the same way it is possible to automatically insert the place in the travel itinerary , to modify the route based on the presence of further stops or stations. Among the information provided by Maps there are also public holidays, possible service interruptions , the latest news on strikes and other inefficiencies, possible alternatives to continue the journey and reach your final destination.
How to book hotels with Google Maps
The information section of Google Maps is always more efficient, providing a series of data and information related to its movements. For example, the app allows you to select a particular place, opening a complete tab with details taken from the web . This way you don’t have to leave the application, viewing directly on the map the places to visit in the surroundings, the nearest restaurants , nearby hotels and scheduled events.
By selecting a hotel you can book the hotel using Google Maps , by tapping on “Book a room”. The app will open a screen with all hotel booking platforms, including Booking.com, Hotels.com, Agoda and FindHotel, with the relative prices per night and the total cost based on the duration of the overnight stay. Moreover it is also possible to create a rapid route to reach the structure, adding it to the map.
The application also provides user reviews of the hotel , offering the possibility of sharing one’s opinion and giving a star rating of one to five, leaving a like or sharing reviews, looking at hotel photos, save the location, share the hotel with your contacts, call the facility or visit the official website.
Google Maps: share location and travel information
The application allows you to share your location , sending the location or a map to friends and relatives. You can also share Street View images, a specific location different from your location, a map with distance measurements or a screenshot of the route .
Doing it is really simple and fast, just search for a place on Google Maps, touch the point and keep it pressed for a few moments, insert a virtual placeholder , select “Share” from the three dots and send the link. The person receiving the link can open it directly in the app, to view the location or destination on the map.
To show others where you are, using an iPhone or iPad, you can use either Google Maps or iMessage . In this case, just start a storage, open the menu below, select the “App” item, open the application drawer, touch “Add”, “Manage” and finally “Google Maps”. To send the position, just tap on the round arrow and send the location in real time.
Google Maps suggestions
One way to stay up to date , not to miss the latest news and events in your city, is to use the Google Maps feature “For you” . Selecting this service, from the main screen of the application, will be proposed restaurants, appointments, cultural events , music shows and news, based on your preferences and geographical location.
For example, the app informs you of the latest bar and club openings, special offers for some activities, or you can enter the settings, using the gear symbol, to choose some specific areas on which you want to receive notifications . Places can be added and removed at will, you can apply a label, or try a new restaurant and leave your review.
How to write reviews and earn points
Finally it is important to point out a feature of Google Maps, the writing of quality reviews , truthful and able to help other members of the community, to get points and become a Local Guide , a local guide. For example, you can write and share reviews about visited places, add photos, answer user questions , enter a missing place and check the information on the tabs.
For each service rendered to the Google Maps community, point attributes are given , 10 for reviews, 1 for ratings, 5 for photos, 7 for streaming videos, 1 for question answers and 15 for adding a new place. To become a Local Guide you need at least 250 points, necessary to reach level 4, reaching the maximum goal of 100 thousand points and level 10.
From level 4 upwards it is possible to receive the official Google Maps badge , a recognition that offers certain advantages, including free upgrades on Google services, more storage space on Gmail, new free products before they are marketed, or discounts on paid app from Google Play Store . If you are looking for Google maps listing services then you are at the best place here at Google Maps UAE.