The line between maps and electronic location databases is growing ever more blurry. Google Maps has long been a driving force behind this technology-driven, society-wide trend, and the Google team has taken another step forward with the introduction of “Driving Mode” this week.
The new Google Maps Driving Mode feature is designed to provide users with traffic updates and accurate estimated time of arrivals using real-time traffic data. This new mode, first made public in a report from Android Police, also offers a unique location “autopredict” function.
Note that these new features are included as a part of Google Maps version 9.19. Keep in mind that Google Maps version 9.19 may not yet be live on the Google Play Store for all users.
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Of interest, the latest Google Maps update also makes a few changes to the app’s user interface. For example, locating audio toggles is now much simpler. The developers also made a good call in deciding to install new settings for the Timeline feature so that users can hide Google Photos from popping up among other things..
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The coolest thing about the new Driving Mode is that it uses your present location and your history to make predictions about where you are going. If you’ve used it for a while, Maps will get to know you so well it will know where you want to go on Sunday afternoon without having to enter a specific destination. New Waze technology is being incorporated into Google Maps to offer real-time traffic information and calculate ETAs to various user destinations.
Keep in mind that this functionality can be accessed using an app icon shortcut or through the in-app sidebar.
Google hasn’t forgotten about Apple users. Just a couple of weeks ago, Maps for iOS also saw a notable update.
Users of the Apple app can now see gas prices along their route as well as business hours for destinations. The app provides recommendations based on how close users are. These new Maps for IOS features are available in both Canada and the United States.
In another very useful feature, the updated Maps for iOS app now permits users to download a section of the map for offline navigation.