Google Maps is not only used to get from point A to point B. The solution indeed brings together a range of useful and well thought-out functions. June is coming to an end, so we have selected no less than 11 essential tips for you to go on vacation serenely with the Google solution.
Note: This guide was written using the iOS version of the application. Some interface elements may be different on Android.
Set travel stops on Google Maps
We start at the beginning, and with the simplest. Contrary to what many people think, Google Maps is not limited to a starting point and a destination. It is indeed possible to define travel stages and therefore to program a real road trip.
Start by launching the application. Choose a destination and a starting point. Tap on the three small dots located to the right of the field dedicated to the starting point. Select the “add a step” option. A new field appears. Enter the address of your choice.
If you need to rearrange the steps, tap the three lines of the field to move and swipe your finger up or down.
And of course, you can add other steps if you feel like it. Google Maps, on the other hand, will display the total travel time below the fields. Once you are done, tap on “Ok”. All you have to do is press “start” to launch the navigation. Note that Google Maps also offers a function against traffic jams. And he can also help you with tolls.
Pin his journey
Preparing your trip is good, recording it is better. And if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises, it will be better to think about pinning it.
Launch the app. Prepare your itinerary by configuring the place of departure, the destination and any intermediate stages. Then tap on the “pin” button located at the bottom of the screen. To find it, simply go to the “en route” tab. All pinned rides will appear here, as a list.
And they will stay there until you delete them.
Know the parking status in Google Maps
Google Maps isn’t just capable of showing you traffic status. The service can also display the parking status and let you know if you will have trouble parking.
Open the app. Launch the calculation of the route of your choice. Now turn your attention to the map at the bottom of the screen. And more precisely to the acronym “P”. It symbolizes the parking status. If it is blue, everything is fine. On the other hand, if it is orange or red, you risk turning around for quite some time before finding a place.
Note that Google Maps applies exactly the same color code for the duration of the journey. If the latter appears in green, everything is fine. If it is red, it is a bad sign.
Suppose you are traveling abroad, or in an area where network coverage leaves something to be desired. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is in your best interest to download your maps beforehand. And it is perfectly possible.
Open the app. Type in the place that interests you. A marker appears with a map a little further down. Scroll through the menu present in the map (“route”, “start”, etc.) and press the “download” button. A frame appears. Position it to cover the area of the map you want to download. Finally validate by tapping on the “Download” button.
Be careful, some cards can weigh very heavy. If you don’t have a lot of storage, you better be very selective.
Find restaurants or places to visit
Google Maps was designed as a participatory service. Each user can thus create his place, leave his opinion or even share photos. Functions that have greatly contributed to the success of the service… and which make it very easy to find restaurants or places to visit.
To do this, start by launching Google Maps. Stand in the area of your choice. In the banner below the search field, select the type of location that interests you. The service displays all matching locations in a map at the bottom. Simply tap on the location you’re interested in to get related photos, reviews and info.
So of course, you can also type in the search field the theme or the type of place that interests you, but this banner is quite well done and it will even allow you to find parks, attractions or even bakeries to order your chocolate bread. Or your chocolatine. In short.
Check restaurant wait times
Finding a good restaurant is good, but not if you have to wait 3 hours for space. And again, Google Maps can help.
Launch the application and type in the name of the restaurant you are interested in. Then display its file to have access to all the associated information. Scroll down to the section called “busy times”. You will find a graph representing the busiest hours, but also an average waiting time. A good way to know if the service will follow.
Please note that the durations indicated are more than estimates. Sometimes the reality can be a little different.
Find your car
You found a place at the last minute, but you don’t know the city where you are? Consider using Google Maps to find your car when you need it.
Launch the app once you’ve parked. Tap on the blue mark symbolizing your position. A menu appears. Tap on the “set as parking location” option. Now the location will be marked and you will see a pin appear where you left your car.
It’s simple, it’s easy, and it can really save you from unpleasant surprises. Even more after the evening.
Keep places aside
Are you going on vacation in a somewhat remote area and have you planned a list of places to visit? Why not use Google Maps to keep track?
It’s easy and you don’t have to look very far to do it. After launching the app, do a search. When you find a location that interests you, tap on the “save” button. Google Maps will offer you ready-made lists, but you can create your own if you don’t like them. Note that these will be associated with your account… and therefore synchronized between all your devices.
In the same way, if you come across a good restaurant, do not hesitate to save it to find it more easily later. The same for bars or any other place worthy of interest.
Enable music in Google Maps
What better than catchy music to pass the time on the road? Well, with Google Maps, you will be able to activate a music player.
Start by launching the app and then tapping on your avatar in the top right. A menu appears. Press the “settings” option and then go to the “navigation” menu. Scroll down to the section called “audio playback controls”. Select your favorite music app by tapping on it. Now, when the voice guidance is active, you will see a small banner appearing referring to your streaming service, with all the controls that are good for controlling your music at your fingertips.
A function that can be very useful, especially if your car does not support CarPlay or Android Auto.
Calculate a bike route
The car is good, but the bike is better. Especially when you are on vacation. And precisely, with Google Maps, you can also calculate routes… by bike.
Launch the app and set the route of your choice. Once the route calculation is done, tap on the small bicycle located in the banner. Google Maps will automatically adapt the recommended route to this means of transport. And you can even know the total duration of the course… And thus know if the ride is really up your alley.
And of course, hikers are not forgotten. They can also ask Google Maps to calculate a walking route. The procedure is exactly the same, but you will have to select the little man walking instead of the bike.
Enable one-handed zoom
Can’t mobilize your two upper limbs to zoom in Google Maps? Don’t panic, Google has thought of everything.
It is indeed possible to activate the zoom with one hand. To do this, open the application and go to the place of your choice. Double-tap the screen and keep your finger pressed. Now move it up or down to zoom in or out on the map.
And that’s clearly an essential tip when you’re walking around, or when you’re holding something in your hand. Like a leash, a water bottle or even a bag.