12 Google Maps features that make your life easier

Google Maps makes planning your commute very easy. (Rawpixel pic)

Google Maps has changed the way you travel on the road, with its navigation, geospatial search and customisation tools.

Here are 12 tips to fully utilise your Google Maps:

1. Going off the grid

Google Maps gives you the option to go incognito and avoid having any of your activity saved.

Tap your profile picture in the top right, and turn on the “incognito” mode.

2. Checking your reservations

You can get information on reservations within Google Maps based on your engagements with your Gmail account and Google Calendar.

Tap on the three-line icon in the upper left corner. Select “Your places,” and search for the “Reservations” tab at the top of the screen.

Any advance planning will be shown here, and you can tap for more information about the location and the option to start your navigation.

3. Measuring distance between multiple locations

If you’re planning to map out the distance of your journey or need to determine how far you need to travel for a certain trip, Google Maps helps by measuring the exact distance between locations.

Tap and hold the starting point. This brings up a red pin along with a white bar to display more info.

Swipe up on the bar or tap the bar and then select the “Measure distance” option. Next, press on the blue plus icon to find and select the second point.

You can repeat this process as many times as you need to measure your full journey.

The street view function allows you to easily locate landmarks. (Rawpixel pic)

4. Adding destinations to your directions

To add multiple stops to your navigation, start with your first destination. Press the “Directions” button, then key in your starting point. Tap the three-dot icon on the top right and select “Add stop”.

You will get the third field to add another destination, and you can add more destinations after you fill this in. You can even re-arrange the destinations.

5. Setting up custom commute notifications

Google Maps assists with your daily commute by providing alerts, travel times, current traffic or delays along your route.

To setup custom notifications, press the three-line icon on the top left corner, select “Settings,” and then select “Commute”.

A pop-up screen will display where you set your home and work address. Key in the details and activate your “Get commute notifications” at the bottom of the screen.

6. Viewing time-specific traffic

You can search the time for a drive with the traffic estimation tool. Look up a location and click the “Directions” button and place it at the starting point you want. At the bottom you will see a line that states “Leave now.”

Press the downward-facing arrow, then choose either “Depart at” or “Arrive by” to view the traffic conditions and estimated trip total for any day and time.

7. Viewing maps in street view

Exploring roads at eye-level is an advantage if you are searching for specific landmarks.

If you are searching for places in Kuala Lumpur, touch and hold any spot on a map to select a desired point of reference.

Tap on the location that appears in the lower-left corner. Next, tap on the compass icon on the upper-right corner.

Hold up your phone, move it around and the view will shift to match the direction you are facing.

Google maps can predict your travel time at any hour. (Rawpixel pic)

8. Saving your desired spots

To create locations for future reference or for sharing, press on any location name within the bottom-of-screen bar, then select “Save.”

Save the spot to “Favourites,” or set up your custom list. You can opt to make this list private or share links that you send out.

9. Creating custom labels for your favourites

To label your favourite places, tap the location’s name in the white bar at the bottom of the screen.

Press the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner and select “Add label”. Key in your desired label and save it.

10. Discovering new places through the search tool

If you are looking for any particular spot, press the bar at the top of the app and search for your query.

11. Using voice commands

Google Maps has several pre-sets of useful voice commands that will work whenever you are actively navigating on the road.

You use these voice commands by saying either “Hey, Google” or “Okay, Google” and follow that with your question.

12. Sharing your location as you travel

Press the blue dot to pull up a hidden menu and select “Share your location.” You can set an end time for the location sharing or allow it to be active until you turn it off.

This article first appeared in Jobstore. First launched in New York, Jobstore is one of the largest job distribution platforms which offers services in over 10 countries.