Google Maps update adds ride-sharing tab, timeline improvements, and several other tweaks

You can now set a custom icon for your home and work location so they are much easier to spot when scanning around a map.

google maps location history
Credit: Derek Walter

The Google Maps elves have been rather busy of late, bundling together several helpful updates that will speed up catching a ride and keeping track of all your travels.

When you search for directions, you’ll soon see a dedicated tab with information for ride services. While Google had already partnered up with Uber, there are new options available in other countries: Gett in the UK, 99Taxis in Brazil, Ola Cabs in India, Hailo in the UK and Spain, and mytaxi in Germany and Spain.

google maps ride sharing Google Lat Long Blog

Find a ride right inside of Google Maps.

There are also a couple of handy improvements to your saved and past places. 

As Android Police spotted, the Your Places screen now has the different sections organized by groups so you can more easily swipe through to what you want to see. 

You can also add a custom icon to go with where you’ve identified as your home and work spots in Maps. Throw in a happy little sailboat or an igloo to spice up the drab icons.

maps icons Android Police

New icons can give some life to where you pin home and work on Maps.

Your location history has some small but helpful improvements, offering you additional details about the distance and time spent during local and far-of travels.

Finally, you can now dismiss places that Google offers you to review. Just touch the Overflow button and get rid of it so you don’t have to keep scrolling past it when you’re trying to find another place on the list. 

All the new goodies (except for the ride services tab, which appears to be a server-side switch) can be found in version 9.22 of Google Maps, which is rolling out in the Play Store and available now on APK Mirror.

The impact on you: The whole batch is a good combination of improved design and usability. If you take a lot of Uber rides, this can save you a step if you want to check out the destination first in Google Maps and then hail your ride. I’ve found the location history to be an essentially useful tool for trying to recall previous travels, especially as part of the goal to move up the Local Guides ladder.

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