How to Get the Most Out of the New Google Maps

Google_Maps-1-androidabilityGoogle Maps rolled out a massive update that added better offline maps, improved navigation and Uber integration.

But while the update is huge, many of the best new features are subtly tucked away and easy to miss. Here’s our guide to Maps’ best new features, and how you can take advantage of them:

Navigation improvements

Navigation has long been one of Google Maps’ core features. With the 3.0 update, Google has enhanced the service by adding several improvements to how routes are displayed, including better route guidance and more accessible route information.

Navigation now includes lane guidance, which lets you know whether you are in the correct lane, and gives drivers a heads-up when it’s time to move over. In the U.S., lane guidance is available for highways and local roads in “major metropolitan areas.” Outside of the U.S., this feature is available for Canadian highways and non-highway roads in Japan.

Google maps app screenshots

Google added several improvements to navigation and how routes are displayed within the Maps app.


Google also improved the way routes are displayed within Maps, making it easier to view route details. After selecting a route, users can now view the estimated travel and arrival time, as well as total distance, while in navigation mode. And all maps now include a scale bar to help estimate distances.

Taking public transit? Plan your route

Google Maps is a mainstay for many who rely on public transportation to get around. Google has now made transit directions even better by adding new ways for users to plan their route.

Users can plan routes based on desired departure or arrival time, or choose “last” to see when the last available transit will be. This feature, available under the “options” menu,” is particularly handy in cites such as San Francisco where public transportation doesn’t run all night in many areas.

transit directions Google Maps provides new options for public transportation that allow users to choose the last available route, or compare their route with Uber.


Additionally, when you search for transit (or walking) directions, the results now surface estimates for an Uber ride if you have the app installed. “Get an Uber,” appears at the end of the list,” along with an estimate of how long said Uber ride will take. Selecting this option opens the Uber app where you can request a ride.

Get better search results

Search results have also been fine-tuned in Maps to give users more control over the results, and to make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for.

When searching for restaurants, bars and hotels, users can now filter search results by price, rating and whether or not an establishment is currently open.

filter results

Google Maps now allows you to filter search results by rating, price, and whether or not an establishment is currently open.


To take advantage of the new feature, simply tap the filter button in the search bar or the results page, and select the desired filters. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t save filter preferences, so you will have to apply the filters again with each new search.

Google also added a series of features that make it easier to search for destinations, including voice-enabled searching, which can be activated by tapping the microphone icon in the search bar. Maps also now integrates with your device’s contacts, so you can search for destinations based on information stored in your address book.

by Karissa Bell

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