10 tips to use mobile Google Maps more efficiently

August 29, 2016 by ivan

When Google Maps were released for the first time, everyone has grown to love this awesome service. Throughout the years, Google Maps have become better and better, and the good part is that the app was released for smartphones. It was first released for Android in 2008, while the iOS version came out in 2012 as an alternative to Apple Maps.

Just like Google Maps Widget is the inevitable part of every WordPress website, mobile Google Maps app is a part of practically every smartphone and tablet device. Google’s developers made everything as easy as possible, but there are still few tip and tricks which can help you to use the app more efficiently. In the following lines, we’re about to show you some of them. 

1. Set home and work addresses

Google Maps are a great tool for discovering new locations on the planet, but you will probably use it for navigating through the city. While it isn’t hard to enter the address every time you set the navigation, setting up the home and work address will make things much easier. If you tap the menu button and open “Your Places” link, you can easily enter the addresses which will Google save on your account. Now you can tap navigational system to home or work from any other location on the map.

2. Add your own photos

Did you know that you can add your own photos to a Google Maps place? Yes, you can, and it can be easily done by using a mobile Google Maps app. Open a place of interest and drop a pin on it. Then choose the address displayed below the map. When a place is opened, you will need to scroll down to find photos of that place. Among all the other images, you will find a link to add your photos. Please note that you can only add photos for points of interest, like businesses or parks, but not addresses or coordinates.

3. Zoom with just one hand

Smartphones and tablets are out there for a quite a while, and everybody got accustomed to pinch-zoom. But if you’re holding a phone with one hand, that might become a difficult task. Besides the classic way of zooming in, Google Maps allows you to tap twice on the screen which will zoom the map. And that’s also something you might have been familiar with. But if you double tap the screen and leave the finger on the screen, you’ll be able to swipe and thus zoom in and out of the map.

4. View maps offline

Google Maps are an awesome tool for a traveler. But if you have ever traveled abroad where your mobile data just couldn’t go through, you ended up lost, without a working Google Maps app. If you still don’t know, Google Maps can work offline. That will need some planning because you will have to download a map before your trip. Open a location of interest and tap area to select it. Then click on the address which popped out below. Select the menu bar on top (three vertical dots on the right side) and choose “Download offline area” option. As you will see, the app allows you to download only a selected area, and not the map of the entire city nor a country. Still, you will be able to save several map areas which will be accessible for one month.

5. Save favorite locations

If you find yourself searching for some locations more often than the others, you might want to include them in your favorites. By doing so, you will be able to access those locations much faster the next time you decide to open that location in the map. Simply tap the location and hold your finger for a second. After the pin is dropped and the address is shown below, click on that address name. Now choose “save” button with a star icon on it and you’re done. If you now go to your main menu and open “Your places”, you will find all the saved locations for easier access.

6. View visited locations

If you haven’t disabled the feature manually, Google is already tracking every move you make when your mobile data is turned on. Even if you’re not using the Google Maps app, all it takes is that you have your Google account set up on the smartphone/tablet. If so, you can easily view all the locations you have visited so far. To do so, please open Google Timeline. Here you can track your voyages and navigate through the history of your travels via the calendar on the left. If you wish so, you can also delete your timeline history or completely disable the option.

7. Use voice commands in navigation

If you’re using your smartphone/tablet as a navigator, it is good to know that it can be used in hands-free mode. Once you open your mobile Google Maps app, tap the microphone icon which you can find on top of the screen. If you’re using Android device, you may also say “OK Google” to activate the feature. Now the app is ready to follow your lead; say “Show traffic” or ask the app to “Show alternate routes.” You can even ask it about the “Next turn.” See more voice commands.

8. Add custom labels

For locations you might be using more frequently, you can set up custom labels which will help you locate them more easily. Navigate to a location, tap and hold down until the pin is dropped. Then choose the address shown below and click on the “label” button. You will need Web & App Activity turned on to give a place a label.

9. Share a location

Instead of manually creating a screenshot of a map section to show it to your friends or colleagues, you should know how easy is to share a location via Google Maps. Simply tap and hold a location of interest, and then tap on the “Dropped pin” text bellow it. After that, you will find a share button which will allow you to share the location.

10. Create custom maps

We already showed you how fun is to create custom maps with Google My Maps.