Google Maps features – 11 Useful tips & tricks you might not know


Google Maps, no doubt we all know it is a great navigation service from Google. In 2005, they officially launched it for desktop and later introduced standalone apps for Android and iPhone platforms. From the last 15 years, Google Maps has grown with a bunch of exceptional cool features. Now it is widely used by over 150 Million users monthly around the globe. Google maps now mapped navigation from over 220 countries and territories. Also supplies pieces of information about hundreds of millions of businesses and places on the map. 

More than just finding a Route, Google Maps has some set of outstanding features to explore the world around you. Google engineers constantly update the App and its services to enhance your user experience. On the recent updates, they also added a bunch of new options to compete with the Covid-19 outbreak. We are writing here 11 cool features you can do on Google Maps, which you might not know well.  

11 Useful Tips and Tricks you could use it on Google Maps

Find Covid-19 Testing Centers around you 

On the latest update, Google Maps now let you easily find information about the COVID-19Testing Center’s nearby. In India, Google is diligently working with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Ministry of health to provide a list of approved Testing Centers that close around you.  

It will also briefly show the testing center information – whether its Government-owned or Private, Referral required or not, and the test Limitation.  


You can quickly find the testing center location along with Government-mandated information by searching on Google Maps with the keywords like COVID testing center or Coronavirus testing. 

Public Transport information and crowd levels 

Next time when you planned to travel with public transport, you might view the departure timing information right from your google maps. Whether it is by Bus or Train or even with Flight, no matter, it will update you with the latest departure information.  


Also, you might know how crowded the station is. Google Maps updates the crowd level information based on public transit data. You can find both departures and crowed level information on Google maps just under the name of the station.  

Media Playback Control from Google Maps  

We know it is irritating to switch back from Google Maps to your music controls to Play or Pause the music or skip to the next track right. Google Maps now opens a way to cut this annoying issue while you are on navigating Google Maps. You can enable Media Playback buttons on your screen and control it without going back. 


To Enable this Media Play Back Controls, Open Google Maps on your device. Then Go to Settings > Navigation Settings > Turn on “Show Media Playback Controls.” 

Incognito Mode  

It is an important Google feature when you consider the privacy of your trips. Google brings a privacy control option to Google Maps called Incognito Mode. It enables you to navigate the route and travel without any Footprints and location tracking. According to Google, you can travel with Incognito enabled and it will not leave any traces about your travel on the internet.  


To use this option, Open Google Maps > Tap on Profile Icon > Tap on “Turn on Incognito mode.” 

Real-time Location Sharing with Google Maps 

You might know what real-time location is sharing because we are using it already on popular messing applications like WhatsApp. Sometimes it is important to share your live traveling information, especially if you are traveling on night times with unknown routes. Google Maps made this possible.  

To share live Location, Open Google Maps on your device > Tap on your Profile Picture> Location Sharing > Tap on “New Share” > Select the contact & Duration > Tap on “Share.” 


Additionally, you can also export the live location and share it with 3rd party apps like WhatsApp or messenger. You can also copy the live location to the clipboard. People with this link can see your location for up to 72 hours. 

Add a shortcut to places you visit regularly  

With Google Maps, you can save important places that you visit often as Shortcuts to your device home screen. So, you can get access to navigation with a fraction of seconds without opening the Google Maps App. Now you can use this feature even on iPhone with IOS 14 update.  

How to Get Direction Shortcut on Android Device  
  1. Go to the widget section on your Android device  
  2. Select the Google Directions widget and add it to the home screen 
  3. On the next screen, select the transport type 
  4. Choose Destination and put shortcut name 
  5. Set your route preferences like Avoid Ferries, Motorways, and Toll roads and Tap on Save. 

View the history of your travel with Google Maps  

Google remembers everything you have done before with Google Maps unless you disabled that option. Google also tracks your whereabouts even without navigating with Google Maps, but it depends on the device you use.  

To View, your location History, Open Google maps on your device > Tap on Profile > Select “Your Timeline.”  


If you are uncomfortable with location tracking Google also gives an option to disable this tracking. Temporarily, you can also use the new incognito mode to navigate anonymously. 

Use Google Maps without Internet  

Sometimes you need to travel with limited internet connectivity, or you do not want to burn your precious mobile data to navigate. It is possible with Google Maps because, in fact, it even works without an active internet connection. GPS does not need an active internet connection to find the coordinates of your location. 


To Navigate offline, open Google Maps on your device, while you are connected to Wi-Fi, > Tap the blue dot that marks your current location > Tap “Download” then set the area which you need by Zoom out or in > Tap “Download.” 

Share your Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)  

It also a simple and useful feature the same as real-time location sharing. Like location sharing, Google Maps now allows you to share the estimated time of arrival to the destination and trip progress with your contacts. Check out how it works. 

  1. While you are navigating, swipe up the bottom menu bar to access the trip menu
  2. Tap on “Share Trip Progress” and Select contact.  

Book On-Demand Taxi ride directly from Google Maps 

Google is simplifying the real-life scenarios which we are facing every day. The close integration with Apps like Uber and Lyft eliminates the need for dedicated applications to use these services. You can view a list of on-demand car services and fair which run on your area right from your Google maps screen. 

Photo Source: SearchEngineLand

Save Car Parking Location

Google always making its service helpful for our day-to-day real-life problems. This feature is useful when you have parked your vehicle in a large parking lot or a crowded city. Google Maps remember your vehicle parked location, so next time you will not miss your car vehicle parked location anymore. Let’s see how its works


Open Google Map on your Andorid and Apple device > Tap on Blue dot

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