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5 tips to make the most of Google Maps

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  • 6 min read

The way we navigate the world has changed drastically in the past decade and this change is partly owed to Google’s widely popular service, Google Maps. This software has been constantly improving with AR implementations, calibration and addition of new features such as real-time transit information, ETA sharing, among others.

In the ocean of features that Maps provide, users tend to miss out on some of the most basic ones, which can improve the experience greatly. In this article, we have listed five such tips which can help you make the most out of Google Maps.

Calibrate your position indicator

This is a feature that can be very useful, especially if walking is how you get around. If you pay attention to the blue position indicator you may have noticed that it casts a shadow. This element indicates the direction your phone is facing in allowing you to figure out which direction to turn in — if calibrated properly.

As you travel and come across various elevations, the accuracy of this indicator tends to deteriorate. This leads to a condition, where the direction can be highly inaccurate. To fix this issue, if it ever occurs, follow the steps given below to calibrate the indicator’s compass.

How to calibrate your compass on Google Maps?

5 tips and tricks to make the most out of Google Maps

  • Tap on the blue dot which signifies your current location.
  • Now choose the Calibrate compass option that appears at the bottom of the screen.
  • Perform the action shown on the screen.

The effects of this calibration are noticeable immediately, as the blue dot will now cast its shadow in the direction your phone is facing with a margin of error that is close to nothing.

Also read: Incognito mode comes to Google Maps, YouTube gets auto-delete and more

Location Sharing

This feature from Google Maps allows you to share your live location with contacts of your choice for periods of time and can be tailored to your requirements. Heading on a long-distance trip and want to let your loved ones know where you are and follow alongwith your progress? This feature can help you do that.

Here are the steps to share your location.

How to share your location?

  • Access Maps menu by pressing the interacting with the hamburger menu on the left-top side of the screen.
  • Select Location sharing in the menu that shows up.
  • After pressing Get Started choose your desired contacts and customize the constraints to your wish.

Adding multiple destinations to trips

Let us be honest here, whenever you plan to leave your house for an errand, you try to make the most of it by trying to accomplish several tasks. Knowing your travel time to these locations beforehand can never hurt.

Google Maps allows you to plot multiple stops between your starting position and final destination, giving you the best possible route — to its knowledge — and an estimation of your total travel time. You can follow the instructions below to learn how to do this.

How to add multiple stops to a trip?

  • Choose your starting and ending destinations.
  • Next, tap on the three-dots button and press the Add stop option.
  • Next, choose the faded out Add stop bar and type in your desired location.

Note: If you pay attention to the screenshots above, you will notice the added destination of Lulla Nagar Bridge. In some cases, adding destinations like this allows Maps to provide you with alternate routes to your destination. So, if you think or know of some problems on a suggested route you can mix and match alternate roads using your knowledge of the area when travelling around — be it in your city, state or country.

Also read: Apple Maps redesigned: Looks more like Google Maps with better privacy

Checking an estimation of wait times at restaurants

Reaching a restaurant and finding out that you have to wait to get a table is something that no one fancies. To mitigate this issue, you can use Google Maps to check how the rush at a restaurant will be at specific times, this way not only can you plan ahead of time but also avoid waiting by reserving a table.

Before you leave, just open the Maps application on your phone and follow the steps below to see how you can learn this information.

How to check the wait time at restaurants?

  • Look up the restaurant or cafe that you want to dine at.
  • Select the restaurant.
  • Now, scroll down to find the option which shows you the various conditions according to the time of day.

Zoom in with one finger on mobile

In a lot of situations, due to today’s bustling nature of life, people tend to have only one hand free. This makes it especially difficult to zoom in and out from the information present on the screen. To deal with this Google has a feature that allows you to use just one finger to scale the magnification on your screen. Given below are the steps to perform this action.

How to zoom in with one finger?

  • Tap on the screen once followed by a second tap, but this time do not lift your finger off of the screen.
  • You can now scroll up or down to zoom in or zoom out respectively.

If you know of some interesting easy-to-access features that we missed here, let us know in the comment section below.

Also read: Google Maps vs Google Maps Go: 7 things to know

Aryan Surendranath

Has an interest in technology and video games. When not doing anything related to either of these you will find him with his books, educational or not.

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