Some of the ideal features of Google’s mapping app are among the hardest to find—till you know wright here to look.

You are watching: Google maps welcome to state icons


Google Maps is good for simply acquiring around. But don’t be fooled: the app is much even more than a glorified Garmin. Maps has actually all sorts of effective features and timesaving shortcuts that aren’t apparent, however are simply waiting to be found. So grab your compass and get ready: It’s time to explore some of its a lot of beneficial off-the-beaten-path choices.

1. Go completely hands-free

We’ve all been guilty of glancing down at our devices while driving—to look ahead at the next turn, possibly, or watch how long is left in a commute. If you have an Android phone, there’s a far better way: Google Maps hoverall series of useful voice commands that’ll work whenever before you’re proactively navigating.

Just say either “Hey, Google” or “Okay, Google” and also then try variations on these examples:

“What road is this?”“What’s my following turn?”“What’s my ETA?”“How’s traffic ahead?”“How’s website traffic to work?”“Avoid tolls”“Avoid highways”“Find gas stations”“Find restaurants”“Navigate home”“Take me to McDonald’s”“What’s the closest hotel?”“Exit navigation”

You can additionally instruct your phone to make calls, send texts, play music, or look for your next appointment—all without ever taking your eyes off the road.

2. Remember where you parked

Open up Maps on your iPhone or Android phone and also tap the little blue dot that represents your current location. That’ll pull up a hidden food selection via some handy options—including the capacity to conserve your existing parking place. You can include in your very own supplementary notes or photos and even collection a timer to remind you as soon as it’s time to relocate your car.

Everything you have to remember where you parked is best within the Maps mobile application.

When you’re prepared to get back to your spot, look for the conserved parking notice on your phone or simply open up up Maps and also tap the “Parking location” card at the bottom of the display screen.

3. Share your place, even as you move

Need someone to find you—or perhaps just know wright here you are? Take a look at Maps’ straightforward system for real-time area sharing.

To attempt it, open up Maps on your phone and also tap the blue dot, simply favor in the previous tip, but this time, select “Share your place.” You’ll have the ability to collection an finish time for the location sharing or opt to keep it active till you manually rotate it off. You deserve to then choose any of your contacts to share with or obtain a exclusive web link to paste wherever before you want.

You have the right to likewise access the sharing feature while in the midst of a Maps navigation by swiping up from the white bar at the bottom of the display screen and also then picking “Share trip development.” That’ll share your location via whomever before you pick until you reach your set location.

In either scenario, civilization who open the attach will view an symbol showing your existing position on a map as you move—within the Maps app, if they have actually it, or in a continual web browser window if they don’t. You’ll view an indicator at the bottom of Maps letting you understand area sharing is energetic, and you have the right to constantly soptimal the sharing by tapping that box.

4. Search along your course while navigating

That swipe-up-while-navigating food selection pointed out in the previous pointer has one various other advantageous gem: an alternative to search along your existing route.

Activating it will give you one-tap buttons for finding gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, or coffee shops along your way from point A to point B. You deserve to likewise form in your own custom search term—if, say, you want to see eextremely Starbucks or Taco Bell that’s on your existing route.

5. Find out what’s close to anything

A comparable kind of search is obtainable in Maps, even when you aren’t navigating. Any time you desire to uncover particular types of areas close to your existing location or any kind of other spot, tap the search bar at the height of the mobile app and attempt variations on these queries:

“Restaurants near here”“Pharmacies near Figueroa and first Street”“Vegetarian restaurants near me”“Book stores close to UCLA”“Gas stations close to the airport”“Things to do near the Florida Theatre”

Maps can act as your overview to almost anypoint, everywhere.

You have the right to also browse to view what’s near your current location by opening Maps on your phone, and also then scrolling and swiping via the Explore tab at the bottom of the display screen.

6. Get a ticket to ride

The next time you’re looking up a location on your phone and also then decide to hail an Uber or a Lyft to obtain tbelow, conserve yourself some steps and also order your ride from best within the Maps application. After trying to find a certain location and then tapping the Directions button, look for the symbol through a perkid waving her hand in the air as if she were hailing a cab (situated directly beneath the attend to bar, in between the walking-perkid symbol and also the biking-man icon).

That’ll show you present prices and also wait times for both Lyft and Uber, best then and tright here, and allow you to hop directly right into the ride-ordering process within either app.

7. See just how busy businesses are

Before you head out to the grocery, your favorite deli, or even the DMV, let Maps present you how lengthy of a wait you’ll confront upon arriving. Search for the spot in the Maps application on your phone—or find and also tap it within your present map view—then tap the business’s name in the white bar at the bottom of the display screen and also scroll dvery own till you watch the area labeled “Popular times.”

Tright here, you’ll uncover a graph of the typical crowds at your present day and time and also regularly also a live report of precisely just how busy it is at that extremely moment. You deserve to look ahead to find average data on crowd congestion for any other day and also time as well.

See exactly just how busy businesses are or are most likely to be later on with Maps’ “Popular times” tool.

8. Name your favorite places

If you uncover yourself looking up or navigating to the very same places repeatedly, make your life a tiny easier by offering your favorite spots even more memorable names. For instance, you could name your doctor’s office “Doctor’s office”—which is a lot less complicated to remember and also say in a voice command also than an official map-based moniker prefer “East LA Doctor’s Hospital: Puglia Joseph MD.” Or you can name your friend’s impossible-to-uncover building “Biff’s apartment” for straightforward recurring recommendation.

The trick is to tap into Maps’ easy-to-miss labeling mechanism. First, search for the location you want in the Maps application on your phone (or discover and tap it within your current map view), and then tap the business’s name or building’s name in the white bar at the bottom of the screen. Next off, tap the three-dot menu symbol in the upper-right corner of the display and also pick “Add label” from the menu that shows up.

Type in whatever label you desire and also conserve it. From that allude forward, you’ll check out your tradition label in area of the location’s formal name everywhere within Maps, and also you have the right to navigate to the location sindicate by informing Maps (or Google Assistant, on Android) to navigate to whatever before name you supplied.

9. Save your unique spots

In addition to naming areas, the Maps mobile apps permit you to develop collections of places for future browsing or sharing. Just tap on any type of location’s name within that same bottom-of-screen bar we’ve been using, then look for the option labeled “Save.”

Tap that, and you’ll be able to save the spot into a default list, prefer “Favorites,” or develop your own custom list where it’ll reside. You have the right to select to make any type of list private—for your very own personal viewing only—or you deserve to opt to have actually it be easily accessible through a unique shared link you send out. It can even just be publicly available for anyone to discover virtual.

10. Explore at eye level

Street View is just one of Maps’ coolest features, yet you’d most likely never before even realize it existed if you didn’t know wright here to look.

First, on your phone, search within Maps for any location—prefer Times Square, for instance. (You have the right to additionally touch and host your finger to any type of spot on a map to select a particular suggest of recommendation.) Next, tap the photo of the area that shows up in the lower-left edge of your screen.

Now, for the really neat component, tap the compass icon in the app’s upper-ideal edge. Hold your phone up and also relocate it around, and the check out will certainly shift to complement the actual direction you’re encountering at any type of offered moment. It’ll be prefer you’re standing inside the map and also looking about.

11. Go ago in time

Fire up the flux capacitor, Doc: We’re about to perform some severe time traveling. Google Maps has a little-recognized attribute that allows you look at the Street View for any area as it existed at miscellaneous points in the past.

This one just works from the desktop website, so open up Maps on your computer system and pick a area. See that bit yellow guy in the lower-appropriate corner—well-known to his friends as Pegman? Drag him up through your mouse and drop him wherever before you want to go. Then look for the clock symbol in the gray box at the top-left of the display screen.

Tap that, and you’ll have the ability to drag a slider ago through time to see 360-level views from previous years. The feature isn’t accessible for eextremely feasible place, yet it’s pretty widespread—and many places have actually a full decade’s worth of data.

Views from the previous through Google Maps’ Street View background attribute.

12. Beam a map directly to your phone or car

Speaking of Maps on the web, the next time you’re looking up directions on your desktop, conserve yourself a action, and also beam them straight to your car or mobile gadget.

All you need to do is click an inconspicuous option that shows up whenever before you search for a location or pull up directions. It’ll be in the box on the left side of the screen—either as an icon beneath the place’s name or address, if you’re looking at a constant map, or as a plain-text attach immediately above the route alternatives, if you’ve already pulled up directions. (If you’ve clicked with to a details course, it’ll be an unlabeled symbol instantly to the ideal of the take a trip time estimate. And yes, there’s some irony in the fact that you nearly need a map to find this attribute.)

Click whichever before variation shows up, and also you’ll check out a list of gadgets that are associated to your Google account. Android devices must display up instantly, while iPhones will certainly call for you to initially install and sign into the Maps application, and then enable notifications within the app’s settings. For a automobile, you’ll have to manually add your automobile on Google’s Sfinish to Car website, offered you have a compatible make and also model.

Whichever means you go, the Maps info will show up as an alert on your dashboard or gadget seconds after you send it over from your desktop computer.

13. See time-specific web traffic estimates

You have the right to discover out how long a drive is likely to take at any provided time through Maps’ intelligent web traffic estimation tool. Just search for a area in Maps’ desktop version, then click the “Directions” button and put in whatever starting suggest you want.

At the bottom of the very same box wright here you typed the address, you’ll view a line that states “Leave now.” Click the downward-dealing with arrowhead next to that, then choose either “Decomponent at” or “Arrive by” to watch the probable traffic conditions and estimated pilgrimage full for any type of particular day and time.

Maps’ traffic estimation tool will aid you figure out how a lot time you have to leave for a drive, even if you aren’t hitting the road best ameans.

14. Get practice commute notifications

When it pertains to your traditional day-to-day commute, let Maps aid you stop headaches by proactively providing you alerts around travel times and any type of hefty web traffic or delays alengthy your course. To erected your practice commute notifications, tap the three-line food selection symbol in the mobile app’s upper-left edge, choose “Setups,” and also then choose “Commute” on iOS or “Commute settings” on Android.

That’ll pull up a display on which you deserve to specify (or confirm) your house and occupational deal with and offer Maps some info about just how and also once you generally make your pilgrimage. Fill in all the areas, and also be sure to activate the “Get commute notifications” toggle toward the bottom of the screen—then simply sit earlier, relax, and understand that Maps will have your ago from tright here on out.

15. Add added desticountries right into your directions

Not every trek is a two-sheight adventure. And while it isn’t specifically front and also facility, Maps has actually a feature that allows you include multiple stops right into any navigation.

From your phone, start by trying to find your first location. Tap the “Directions” button, then kind in your founding allude. See the bit three-dot food selection symbol to the appropriate of that exact same field? Tap it, then choose “Add stop” from the food selection that appears. You’ll then acquire a third field in which you can enter one more destination—and also as soon as you fill that one in, the alternative for a fourth location will certainly show up. You deserve to also drag and drop the desticountries to reorder them as required.

The feature’s a little even more significant once making use of Maps on a computer: After firing up directions to a particular destination, you’ll view a tiny plus sign through the message “Add destination” alongside it. You deserve to tap that to include as many extra stops as required right into your trip, and you have the right to drag and also drop desticountries to change their order.

16. Get parking details prior to you go

Nothing’s even more annoying than showing up somewright here at the last second and also then scrambling to figure out wright here to park. Maps deserve to help: Before you hit the road, search for your location in the Google Maps app on your phone. On Android, tap the Directions button at the bottom of the display screen, then tap “Steps & parking” and also look for the “Find parking” option. On iOS, tap the Steps switch at the bottom of the display, and then look for the “Find parking” link toward the facility of the display screen.

Just note that the parking function is easily accessible only in some UNITED STATE cities, and also Google doesn’t specify which ones. So if you don’t see the “Find parking” alternative, it could not be live in your location as of currently.

17. Measure the distance in between multiple points

Want to map out your morning jog—or perhaps simply understand precisely how far you need to take a trip on a specific trip? Maps deserve to specifically meacertain the distance in between two or even more points, all the method down to the second decimal.

On your phone, tap and also host your finger on your founding allude. That’ll reason a red pin to appear in addition to a white bar showing even more details around the location. Swipe up on the bar in iOS or tap the bar in Android and also then pick the “Measure distance” alternative. After that, usage your finger and the blue plus icon to uncover and pick the second point. Repeat as many times as needed to measure your complete route.

Maps’ distance-measuring feature renders it straightforward to figure out the specific distance between any type of number of points.

On a computer, right-click on your starting point and also choose “Meacertain distance” from the menu that appears, then click each subsequent allude in your route to acquire dimensions.

18. Check in on your reservations

If you usage Gmail and/or Google Calendar, you deserve to find information around upcoming reservations—as discussed in confirmation emails in your inbox or occasion invitations in your agenda—ideal within Maps. Tap the three-line food selection symbol in the mobile app’s upper-left edge, choose “Your locations,” and then look for the “Reservations” tab at the top of the display.

Any plans you’ve made will certainly instantly show up tbelow, and you have the right to tap them to acquire detailed information around their place in addition to the choice to begin navigating.

19. Save time with progressed gestures

Beyond the classical pinch-to-zoom, Maps has actually a bunch of various other useful gestures to aid you gain around the application on your mobile gadget. Try out these advanced maneuvers:

To zoom in or out of a Map through a solitary hand also, double-tap and also then—without lifting your finger—slide up or down on the display.Spin a map roughly to readjust your orientation by placing your index finger and also thumb on the display screen and also then twisting them together to the left or appropriate.Shift your perspective by placing two fingers on a map and also sliding them both upward on the screen. That’ll take you right into a “flyover” check out of whatever before location you’re looking at, complete via three-dimensional structures in a lot of locations.Want to save a action the next time you’re prepared to navigate? After you look up a location, push and organize the blue “Directions” switch at the bottom of the display screen. That’ll take you directly into navigating mode, using Google’s ideal guess for the course and also technique of transportation you’re most likely to use.

20. Go off the grid

Like many Google solutions, Maps offers your searches and also in-application actions to personalize future suggestions. But if you’re going somewright here you don’t desire stored and linked with your account, Maps has a advantageous new function that allows you go incognito and also prevent having any of your task conserved.

To accessibility it, simply tap your profile icon in the upper-right edge of the Maps interconfront on your phone, then tap “Turn on Incognito mode” from the food selection that pops up. The application will certainly reload, and you’ll watch a gray bar at the top of the display screen indeveloping you that Incognito mode is on together with a dark Incognito mode icon in area of your usual profile picture. When you’re all set to go earlier on the grid, tap the Incognito mode icon and also pick “Turn off Incognito mode.”

And don’t worry: Your secret’s safe with me.

See more: Choose The Answer That Best Explains Why Compound A Is Much More Stable Than Compound B.

For even even more next-level Google understanding, examine out my Android Intelligence newsletter.