Google Maps: Millions of users are encouraged to try these five little-known hacks
Millions of people around the world use Google Maps – but do you know all the features?
The five most useful Google Maps tips have been revealed, and they could change the way you navigate.
While some are only supported on certain phones and in certain locations, others can be used by anyone.
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Hidden Google Maps context menu
First of all, there is a Google Maps “quick menu” that not all users know about.
The Apple-specific feature is called “quick actions,” and while it doesn’t work on all apps, it does for Google Maps.
If you hold your finger on the app icon on the main phone screen, you can unlock a hidden menu.
The top options in the menu allow you to get the most out of the app.
The top option is a quick shortcut to your saved locations.
You can also use a shortcut to get to Your Contributions, which is useful for anyone who is a regular Google Maps contributor.
Another useful option on this hidden menu is the Send My Location feature.
This allows you to quickly share your current location with family or friends.
It can be useful in everyday life, but it can also come in handy in an emergency.
Sharing your location
You can share your location with someone else who has a Google Account by adding their Gmail address to your Google Contacts.
From there, open Google Maps, tap your profile picture, then select Location Sharing.
Then tap the Share Location button.
You can then decide the duration of how long you share your location and with whom.
If you press the share button on your iPhone, the selected people will get a notification to track you.
The double-tap option on Maps lets you zoom in more easily, instead of pinching your fingers.
You can then slide your finger up or down on the screen to adjust the zoom.
This works on both the Android and IOS versions of the app.
Avoid tolls on Google Maps
To avoid paying tolls on a journey, there is a Google Maps function that maps your route without them.
After entering your destination in the app, tap “Directions”.
From there, click the three vertical dots next to “Your Location” and click “Route Options.”
Here you will find a section called “Avoid tolls” which you can choose to turn off or on.
Turn on “Avoid tolls” and go back and click “Start”.
Use Google Maps directions for augmented reality
A high-tech feature of the Google Maps app is the augmented reality directions, which are supported in certain locations on newer iPhone and Android models.
It is mostly used in big cities like London and New York.
Recommended for pedestrians only, the feature puts multiple directions on your phone screen so you can look through your phone camera for some helpful tips.
If your phone supports the AR feature, you’ll see a “Live View” option appear once you’ve started the route.
By pressing it, the phone will show the street as if you were viewing it through the phone camera, but it will also show relevant information on top.