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15 ways to get the most out of navigating the app

Google Maps turns 15 this week, and many of the 1 billion-plus people who turn to Google’s app globally each month do so for more than navigation guidance.

Chances are, you’re among them, even if most of your time in Maps is spent figuring out how to get from point A to point B.

Google changed the Google Maps icon in fact to emphasize the evolution of Maps. More than 220 countries have been mapped over the years, and Google says it has surfaced information about more than 200 million places and information.

As part of the birthday milestone, Google has refreshed the look of the iOS and Android versions of its Maps app, most notably through the five tabs that appear the bottom of the screen; it used to have three. 

The refreshed Google Maps design features 5 tabs at the bottom of the screen.

You can tap the Explore tab for information and ratings and the Commute tab for traffic and travel times and such.

There’s now a Saved button where you can review all the places you’ve been at or may want to go. You can also tap a Contribute tab to share what you know with others, and an Updates tab to learn about trending spots from supposed experts.

Here’s are 15 other tips from Google on things you can or will be able to do within Google Maps:

1. Translate place names and addresses

Google Maps can translate names and addresses in local languages.

Tap the speaker icon that appears next to an address or place name, Google Maps will speak out loud in the local language.

2. Go private

Choosing Incognito Mode and Google won’t save your Maps searches. The tradeoff is that you will lose out on some personalization. Separately, you can choose auto-delete controls within your Location History to save three or 18 months of data. Google says it will delete anything older than that automatically. 

3. Avoid highways, tolls, ferries

In navigation mode, tap the three dots at the top right corner of the app and look for “Route options” to choose the route types you want to avoid.

The new Google Maps logo.

4. Share your ETA and live location 

Once you’ve started on your journey, tap the ^ button and then tap “Share trip progress” to do so with designated contacts.

5. Find a bike or scooter

You can find available bikes in real-time in two-dozen cities or enter a bike-share in the search bar. In more than 80 cities around the world, Google Maps can tell you if a Lime scooter is available, with an estimate on how much your ride will cost.

6. Charge your electric vehicle

In some places, you can also see the location and availability of charging stations for electric vehicles.

Google Maps in 2015 as a beta; a lot has changed since way back when.

7. Know which way to walk 

Arrows direct you which way to go when you use Google’s Live View augmented reality feature. After choosing a destination, tap the Directions button, and the walking tab. 

Live translation:How real-time translation breaks down barriers when you don’t speak the language

8. Travel through time

Take a peek at the past. Select a place in Google Maps on the desktop, and drag the yellow “pegman” figure into the picture. Click on the clock that appears in the top left hand corner to choose the frame.



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