Google Maps has been loaded with a new feature, wherein the map would not only inform your friends about your location, but also the battery level of your phone. The new Google Maps feature would let the person know the exact situation of the battery power of the other user, thus ensuring peace of mind, in case the tracked user is a family member.
Sharing battery level – useful or not?
Over the years, Google has released the location sharing in several versions, starting from Google Latitude. The feature, which was integrated into Maps, was later on transferred to Google+. Last year, Google retained it in Maps, and now an interesting new Google Maps feature has been rolled out that can share the location and battery level as well.
It is up to the Google Map user to share the battery information with their friends as it is an opt-in feature. The battery indicator sits just right of the distance mentioned when checking a contact’s location.
The battery level indicator may appear a useless feature at first. However, it could prove to be useful when tracking the kids and other family members. The individual can actually be relieved knowing that the other person might not be able to make contact due to a weak battery. Moreover, the last general location of the person is known if the phone’s battery dies. In addition, the new information will make it a lot harder for you to lie about your phone’s battery dying.
According to AndroidPolice, they came across hints of the battery sharing feature earlier this year in an APK teardown. At that time, it seemed like the battery status would be shown in plain language, for instance, A’s battery is between 50 and 75%. However, the actual feature turns out to be more accurate and is available for more users, showing the figure of a battery and the percent of the battery power.
New Google Maps features
Over the past few months, several new Google Maps features have been rolled. Just recently, Google updated the Android version with a new design and rolled out a new “Match” feature to the iPhone app. Also, the Android version of the app got a makeover, which was first revealed at Google I/O 2018 but was not rolled out to the users until June.
The new design included rounder buttons, interface changes, more colorful icons, lighter color scheme and different text fonts among other things. Another new feature, “Explore,” was also added to send information to the user about places to eat and shop, and events and activities to participate in.
The feature “Match” was made available to the Android users (it appeared for the iPhone users later). The feature collects all the data Google has on a person and suggests places to eat based on that. The feature saves the time otherwise spent on searching for new restaurants and reading reviews. If a user likes one restaurant, “Match” would suggest others to try it.
Further, if a user has tried a new restaurant and shared good reviews, then the feature would try to match the experience while suggesting new places. In case a user is new to the area and does not know any good eating points, “Match” would suggest the place based on the preferences of the user that he/she would most likely enjoy.
Turn it off anytime
To use the feature, Google would ask permission to collect data and enable the location data. In the words of the search giant, the “Match” feature would help you find “your one true love. And by love, we mean your next favorite cheeseburger. Tap on a food or drink spot to see how likely you are to enjoy it based on your unique preferences – so you can spend more time eating and less time searching for places to go.”
For those who do not find the suggestions very enticing, you can turn off the notifications. To disable the notifications, open the Google Maps app, and then tap the left menu panel. Reach to the Settings option on the menu panel and then Notifications panel. Inside the Notifications panel, there would be a “Discovery” function. The panel would show all the new features such as New Places, Rising food star, New match for you, Saved places nearby and trading places. From there, you can turn off the notifications that do not appeal to you.
While some might find the new Google Maps features useful, others would call it invasive as the new features would require more information from the users. Thankfully, Google has given the option to turn off the features.