You’re using Google Maps WRONG – five things you didn’t realise you could do with popular app

GOOGLE Maps has a raft of handy features that most people don’t know about.

And they’re really easy to get your head around.


Google When looking up directions, users can choose an augmented reality (AR) version of Live ViewCredit: Google Maps

Keep tabs on friends

Similar to the Find My feature on Apple iPhones, Google Maps can lets users keep tabs on their friends.

Whether they’re travelling alone at night, or simply trying to find what part of the park you’re in, being able to track your friends’ phones has increasingly become a safety feature for many.

To set it up, your friend needs to open Google Maps on their phone, tap their profile picture and click Location Sharing on the menu.

If they hit Share Location, then they can choose who out of their contacts to share with.

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Use augmented reality (AR) to explore the streets

When looking up directions, users can choose an augmented reality (AR) version of Live View.

This means the app that not only gives you directions, but scans the surrounding area to offer users more details about the places they pass.

This feature even highlights ATMs, and other pitstops in real time.

Customise the map

This feature is particularly helpful when you’re planning trips away.

Users can pin places they want to visit, be it a restaurant or tourist spot, to make sightseeing easier.

Google Maps lets groups create markers together, making the feature perfect for group trips.

But it can also be used to mark your favourite spots in your local area.

Users will need to open up Google Maps on PC, click the three lines in the top-left corner > Your Places > Maps > Create Map.

Then users can Share the map with friends and family, adding them as collaborators.

Catch the last train

One of the most helpful features belonging to Google Maps is that it will let you know exactly when your last train or bus leaves – and how to get there in time.

When typing in your desired location, users must select Public Transport in the app.

Click Leave Now and users will see options for Depart At, Arrive By or Last available.

In selecting the final one, users will be given a list of the latest trains or buses they can catch before services stop until the morning.

However, be warned: While Google Maps is typically pretty accurate, it can fail to pick up on last minute schedule changes or cancellations.

Travel back in time

You’ll need a PC for this trick, but Google Maps can show users what places used to look like – as far back as a decade.

Open up Street View, and users should see the date of when the current image was taken in the top left hand corner.

To the right of the date, there is an option to see the latest date.

Some places will only back back a few years, but it’s interesting to see how streets evolve in just a matter of years.

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The time options given signal the amount of times a Google Maps vehicle has driven through the area to photograph it.

Places like Times Square in New York has over a dozen examples, while more rural areas may have only been visited once.

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Looking for tips and hacks for your phone? Want to find those secret features within social media apps? We have you covered…

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