Google Maps has added some great improvements and updates over the last few weeks, making it one of the most essential apps around. Here’s our pick of the bunch.
Let’s start with a tasty update that lets you use Google Maps to order food from your favourite restaurant.
This feature is currently being rolled out to major cities around the world. If you’re lucky enough to live in a location that’s covered, you’ll now see a ‘Place an order’ button in the information section of your favourite eatery - look between the opening hours and the phone number. Tap that button (you know it makes sense), and you’ll be taken to the delivery service used by the restaurant. Then it’s simply a matter of choosing your chow.
Add photos to locations
The latest version of Google Maps makes it even easier to add photos to the locations you’ve visited. Below the images already listed at your current location is an ‘Add photos’ button. Tap it, and you can take a photo and add it straight away, or choose an existing picture from your camera roll.
Get live traffic information
With this nifty new ‘Traffic Nearby’ feature, you can now see all the things in your local area that might hamper your journey. It shows up traffic jams, road works, accidents and other problems, giving you the chance to avoid any trouble spots.
‘Traffic Nearby’ is currently available on Android only (iOS users should get it soon). To access it, look for the pale blue 1x1 widget called ‘Traffic’ in your widget library, and put it anywhere on your homescreen. You can then tap it once to see ‘Traffic Nearby’.
See your Google Calendar events
Google Maps now works in close harmony with Google Calendar, giving you the power to make upcoming events show up on the map. So if you’re having dinner with friends at a restaurant, you’ll no longer have to manually input the address onto Google Maps for directions. It’ll already be on there.
To make a calendar event appear on your map, simply enter the address in the ‘Where’ box when you create it in Google Calendar. The next time you go to Google Maps, the event will be on there. If you want to see a list of all the upcoming events you’ve added, tap ‘Your places’ on the Google Maps menu, and select the ‘upcoming’ tab.
Give these new features a try and let us know what you think. Has ‘Traffic Nearby’ helped you avoid any delays? Are you now ordering more delicious takeaway meals than ever before? Share your comments below.