Google Maps and There Tips and Tricks

Basics

Set addresses

From the website, click the hamburger menu icon, head down to ‘Your places’ and then insert your addresses in each slot. Next time you type ‘home’ or ‘work’ they’ll pop up.

See the Street View

If you want to get a close look at where you’re headed, turn to Street View’s 360° photo spread. One way to access it is by dragging the little yellow person icon from the bottom of the screen and dropping it on the map.

Skip to the route

There’s a shortcut for skipping steps from the mobile app. Once you’ve searched for your location in the app, tapping the blue button will bring you to options but if driving is selected by default, holding down the button will jump right into navigation using the best route.

Save favourites

Marking locations as favourites is super-simple on the website, just tap the star on the information bar that pops up once you click on a place on the map. On mobile, tap the name/address that appears and tap Save, then choose a list (like Favourites or Want to Go) or make your own.

Check train times

If you’re heading to a particular destination, you can tap the little train icon to get transit options (paired with some walking) or otherwise tap a station or bus stop on the map to get a list of expected arrival times.

Add multiple locations

Getting from point A to point B is great, but what if your trip involves points C, D and E as well? On the site, it’s as simple as clicking the little ‘+’ sign below your initial start and end points while sorting directions. On mobile, you can tap the three dots at the upper right and then hit ‘Add stop’.

Search on your route

Once on the navigation screen, tap the little magnifying glass icon on the upper right to find quick access to searches for petrol stations, coffee shops and more or toss in your own search term, and you’ll get options for places to stop without leaving your route.

Tips & Tricks

Send to a Device

You can plot directions on the Google Maps desktop site then pass them along to your phone, as long as you’re signed into the same account on both devices. On the website, click ‘Send to your phone’ then pick your linked device from the list now you’ll get that info on your mobile.

Share Your Location

From iOS and Android you can let your friends know where you are at any time. Open up the side menu and pick ‘Share location’ to start the process or when you’re in navigation, choose ‘Share trip progresses.

Handy Tricks

One-handed zoom

If you’re carrying a drink, a bag or something else, zooming can be a tricky task. Or it would at least, with the typical two-finger approach. Use this shortcut instead tap anywhere twice and keep holding down with the second tap. You can then swipe up or down to zoom in and out.

Use keyboard shortcuts

You can also make use of a few nifty keyboard shortcuts to get around Google Maps. Use the arrow keys to move around the map, for example and hit shift plus the ‘+’ or ‘–’ key to zoom in or out respectively.

Save Your Pennies

Eat like the locals

Hit ‘Explore’ from the app’s menu bar to find curate categories of eateries and drinks chosen by local residents everything from the best places for cheap beer to on the go breakfast choices.

Avoid costly tolls

Toll roads can save you time, but they certainly won’t save you money. Luckily, Maps knows how to keep your wallet as full as possible. When teeing up a trip for navigation on mobile, just tap the three dots and hit ‘Route options’ for the ability to skip any roads with tolls, plus motorways or ferries.

Go Wi-Fi only

On Android, there’s an option in Settings to only use Wi-Fi for data, so you won’t bleed out your allowance but the app warns that “a small amount” of data may still be used.

Keep tracking because time is money

Time (your) Travel

Google Maps can estimate how long it will take you to drive somewhere. On the desktop site select ‘Depart at’ instead of Leave now and input a time and date. Maps will give you an estimate based on expected traffic at that time.

Label everything

You can add a label to any location, be it business or home, so you can tag friends, mark fantastic restaurants and leave yourself searchable notes for next time. You’ll find the ‘Label’ listing when you click any location name or address. Use it wisely and frequently.