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How to use google maps: 10 tips and tricks

how to use google maps

If you need a great tool for getting around, then Google Maps is your bet. However, there is a lot more to Google Maps than just moving around. Trying to get home, and locating the nearest supermarket and restaurant have become easier with Google Maps.

Google Maps has plenty of hidden features that you are yet to know about and tools to make your daily tasks effective. Even more, it helps with features like weather forecasts, and fuel-gas location, displaying this foresight in an in-app on Android or iPhones.

That brings us to the 10 best Google Maps tips and tricks to know about in 2024.

1. Drive in an Eco-friendly way

google maps eco friendly routes

(Image credit: Future)

At this stage, we all have to care deeply about our environment and try to save our gas as possible. Here, Google Maps has come to help by providing real-time eco-friendly routes.

You can check out routes that enable you to use the least fuel. You can optimize this feature based on your energy type be it gasoline, electricity, or hybrid.

Eco-friendly routing is enabled by default, but you can opt-out from settings if you want.


2. Locate the nearest grocery shops

Google Maps curbside pickup screenshots(Image credit: Future)

This is another Google map tip and trick. The pandemic brought about so many curbside pickups and Google Maps has made it easy to locate them.

you can locate the shops on maps business profiles and all you need to know about their orders, delivery, and fees. Maps also tell you the time to leave and forward your ETA to the stores so you can receive your order immediately after you arrive.

3. Add music to your drive

google maps spotify(Image credit: Google Maps)

How about you enjoy some cool music as you drive? You can sync Google Maps with YouTube Music, Spotify, and Apple Music, so you can control your tunes from within the maps itself.

You can do this by going to the settings menu and hitting “navigation controls”. for iPhone users, you hit “music playback controls” while Android users will see “show media playback control”

A pop-up menu will appear with a list of compatible apps you have installed. Follow the setup instructions to connect your account. When you go for a drive, you will see a ballon at the side of the screen that gives access to those controls

 4. Go incognito

google maps incognito mode(Image credit: Google Maps)

This is another Google map tips and trick that enable Google to remember where you have been, you can simply put yourself in incognito mode before taking off.  This way, no record of your journey will be made in the Google Maps app.

To activate the incognito mode, tap your profile picture in the top right corner of the screen, and tap on the incognito mode, and there is it. To let Google Maps start keeping records, you just hit the “turn off incognito mode”

5. Measure distance

google maps measure distance(Image credit: Google Maps)

Google Maps can tell you how long a specific route is by plotting your custom route and seeing how far you can go. it is very easy to use regardless of whether you are using a desktop or mobile

You can measure distance by right-clicking on a spot on your desktop. Each time, you click on specific locations, google immediately plots a straight line and indicates how far your distance is.  You can always see your total distance displayed at the bottom of your screen.

You can also use the same procedures for mobile except you have to tap and hold and drop a pin on the screen. swipe up to bring up the relevant menu, and for extra additions, you can use the + button. With mobile, you can see the total distance and not the distance between two points.

6. Customize your vehicle

google maps change navigation icon(Image credit: Google Maps)

You don’t have to be stuck with the default blue arrow. it is similar to Waze but not as nice, google maps enable you to change to one of three vehicles: a red car. green pickup truck, or a yellow SUV. Simply navigate a route and tap the arrow that reflects you.

7. Time travel

how to use google maps(Image credit: Future)

You don’t have to live with the current, most up-to-date Street View imagery. Google can collect street view data. on your desktop, grab the yellow figure from the right corner to access the street view. In the top left you will see a black box with a drop-down menu next to a little clock. Click on it and see what an area looks like on previous Google van visits.
This feature is available to mobile users, after being desktop exclusive for several years. To use on mobile, load up the street view filter, and tap a location to bring up the street level view. Then select See More Date to scroll back through the Google archives

8. Go hands-free with Google Assistant

Google Assistant

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
Google Assistant and Google Maps have close ties, which be so useful when you are driving. You can simply use a Simple “Hey Google” command to do almost anything on the map even with an Android.

For iOS users, you will need to go through an extra step which includes tapping the microphone on the corner of the screen. it can also work for Android users who don’t have assistance switched on.

You don’t have to take your eyes off the road if you want to find a gas station, take your next, or play music with Google map assistant.

9. Advanced one-handed gestures

how to use google maps advanced gestures

(Image credit: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

You need two hands, but you can use one hand to enjoy some of Google Maps’ many gesture controls. Most of these gestures are designed to let you one hand while your other hand is kept on the wheel. These gestures include:

Change map orientation is a big one, which involves pressing your finger and thumb against the screen and spinning them in a circular motion.

Zooming in by double tapping and holding your finger against the screen. You can then zoom in and out by swiping up and down.

Change perspective by swiping two fingers on the screen. Swiping up offers a bird’s-eye view of the area while swiping down takes you back to the traditional top-down perspective.

Read Also: Make my business successful with Google my business

10. Avoid crowds

google maps local crowds

(Image credit: Google Maps)

If you don’t like crowds, Google Maps can help you avoid them when you are on the go.  find any location in Google Maps and it will tell you the best and worst time to visit. it will also show you how busy it is at that exact point in time.

This feature was expanded by Google last year letting you see how crowded an area or neighborhood is from the map screen.

You can use these features for grocery stores, parking lots, restaurants, and even parks. interesting part? Google can tell you where your car is parked if you press the blue dot and hit save your parking (Android) or set it as parking location (iOS).



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