Google Maps, an ever-evolving app, has constantly grown to be a necessary life companion. Why? Because it’s more than just taking you from location A to location B, it can also show you how to get to the nearest toilet, map out the inside of a mazey shopping mall, and guide you to the best places in your local area, such as eateries, lounges, or convenience stores. And since Google has a habit of regularly updating this app with new features and functions, it can get confusing to use it properly. So here are some tips and tricks to keep you in pace with Google Maps for Android.

1. Add Multiple Stops to Your Route

This feature has been existent on the desktop version of Google Maps is now on smartphones. Here’s how to set up multiple stops (or via points) on your route:

  • On the main screen, tap the blue directions icon at the bottom right corner of the screen, then enter your starting point and destination.
  • Tap the three dots at the upper-right corner, select Add stop, then enter the location you want to go through.
  • Re-order the locations by using the small hamburger icons to the left of the location names and dragging them up or down.


2. Download Maps for Offline Use

The offline aspect of Google Maps has always been an enigma to use, never feeling quite as easy to enable as it should. Good thing, Google was able to enhance this feature to make it simpler.

  • From the main Maps screen, type the name of the area you want to save offline.
  • Press the so-called hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) at the top left, then tap Offline areas, and then the + icon.
  • Select the area you want to access offline, then tap Download.
  • Downloaded maps take up a significant amount of memory space so you might want to save it on your SD card. To do this, go to Offline areas from the hamburger menu, then tap the cog (gear icon) at the top right, and then change your download location under Storage preferences.


3. Send directions from Your PC to Your Phone

Using Google Maps on your computer is naturally easier than on a phone. Touchscreens are slick and powerful, but for raw functionality, the mouse and keyboard are still the best.

  • If you look up a location on Google Maps on your PC, click the option on its card to Send to device, and you’ll get a notification on your phone with the directions to that place.
  • You need to be signed into your Google account on your PC in order for this feature to work.


4. How to Access Street View

Street View has been a mainstay feature of Google Maps, but on Android it continues to be quite complicated. Unlike with the desktop version, you don’t get a little orange man that you can drag and drop onto places that you want to see. To use Street View on Android:

  • Tap and hold the location you want to see in Street View, then tap the card that appears at the bottom of the screen, and then tap the photo of the location on the new screen.
  • You’re now in Street View, and can explore the area like you would in the desktop version.


5. Make Google Track (or Stop Tracking) Your Visited Locations

Do you still remember the Location History feature in the old Maps version? You may think they removed it, but it’s actually been renamed to Your Timeline, which tracks your location almost constantly, letting you go in to reminisce about the places you’ve visited. To access the timeline, drag your finger from the left edge of the screen in Maps to bring up the hamburger menu, then tap Your timeline.

It’s actually “love it or hate it” feature, with some appreciating its function as a kind of diary because it even tracks where you took photos and displays them in your timeline at the location you took them), while others don’t like the privacy implications of Google knowing your every move. Here’s how you can customize it:

  • If you want Google to stop tracking your location, go to Your timeline from the Settings icon at the upper-right corner, and then tap on Timeline settings.
  • From here, you’ll be able to switch off and delete your Location History.


This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at 6:40:06 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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