Google Maps Updated to Make it Easier to See Real-Time Commute Info and More

BY Evan Selleck

Published 6 Feb 2017

The team behind Google Maps continues to update the app to fill it out with features that not only make it easier to get where you’re going, but also find things to do when you get there.

The latest update, however, makes it easier to get to all of that information. Up until very recently, Google Maps users had to slide a hidden panel over from the left side of the screen to access things like Driving Mode and more. And if a user wanted to get real-time driving conditions, they actually had to start driving. Now, Google has made it just a tap away to get to all of these things in one spot.

Google Maps is seeing the new bottom row of navigation begin rolling out today, so keep an eye out for its implementation.

With the new feature, Maps users just need to swipe up to get a three-panel home screen, all of which shows real-time information. That includes places to see and eat at in the first panel, and then real-time driving conditions in the next panel. Transit information is available in the third panel.

Here’s how Google explains them:

  • Places Tab: Under the places tab, you’ll see curated lists of places to eat and drink like “best dinners,” “cheap eats” or “business dining,” around you or in any location you choose. In one tap you can also search for other everyday spots like ATMs, pharmacies, gas stations and grocery stores. Peek at images of the area or read a short description of the neighborhood to get the lay of the land.
  • Driving Tab: Under the driving tab, if you have your home and work addresses saved, you’ll see real-time ETAs to home and work, as well as a nearby traffic conditions report and expected delays on the road ahead. If you don’t need turn-by-turn directions but want real-time traffic info as you take your usual route, you can tap on “start driving” to go directly into driving mode.
  • Transit Tab: With the transit tab, you’ll never have to sprint to the bus again. If you have your home and work addresses saved, you’ll see a recommendation for which bus or train to take, when the next one’s coming, and an ETA for when you’ll arrive at work or home. If you’re headed somewhere else, you can swipe down to find nearby transit stations along with real-time schedules.

Google says the updated version of Google Maps begins rolling out today, but there’s no word on whether or not that means a new version of the app will be available to update, or if this is a server-side update.

What do you think of the change?

[via Google]