Hidden tricks of Google Maps for Android

If you want to speed up your tasks on Google Maps and activate little-known features, take a look at these quick tricks that will get you out of a lot of trouble.

Google Maps is not just one of the best applications on the Internet. It is also one of the most elaborate.

It has dozens of customizable functions, some of them hidden behind several layers of menus, windows, and sub-windows.

Most users keep what they need, and ignore the rest. We all do it, with most apps.

It is not a good use policy, because that way we miss out on a lot of interesting features and tools that we don’t even know exist.

Let’s see some hidden tricks of Google Maps for Android that will make your life easier. It is not that they are hidden, but in general they are little known functions, or that go unnoticed, but they are very useful.

Driving mode

Google Maps has a Driving Mode that shows the map in perspective, and resizes the icons to make it easier to use while driving.

The Driving Mode can be chosen when you draw a route, or when you connect to the car via Bluetooth, or the app detects that you are driving.

But it may be interesting to activate it at other times. The most convenient way is to place a widget on the home screen.

google maps
Google Maps

Leave your finger for a couple of seconds in an area of ​​the mobile wallpaper that is empty. The wallpapers and widgets menu will appear.

Tap on Widgets and look for the Google Maps section. Here you will see the Driving Mode icon:

Tap on it so that it is placed on the main screen of the mobile.

To activate it, you just have to touch that icon.

Incognito mode

As with browsers, Google Maps also has an Incognito Mode. It serves to prevent Google from tracking your routes and schedules.

To activate it, tap on your profile photo, and you will see the option Activate Incognito Mode.

Remember location

There are times when you may be interested in remembering where you are. For example, the place where you have parked your car, or a spare parts store that you have found at random, and to which you will have to return later.

Leave your finger on the icon that marks your location. An option will appear to Save Parking. You can use it even if you are not parking…

Now you will see a route icon in the top notification bar of the mobile.

When you want to go back there, tap it to see the route.

Travel reminders

When you create a route that is not immediate, for example for the weekend or for a future trip, you can create a notice so that Google will send you a notification that reminds you what time you have to leave, to be on time.

In the created route, touch the menu of the three dots and choose Set Departure and Arrival time.

Maps will notify you so you don’t forget the schedule.

Music player

Google Maps is used mainly when we are traveling, walking down the street or doing sports.

At those times it is quite common to listen to music, but that forces you to change from one app to another, if you want to change the list or repeat the song, for example.

Did you know that Google Maps allows you to display the multimedia player controls within the app itself?

On the main Maps screen, tap on your profile picture. In the menu that appears, tap Settings and then Navigation Settings.

Here you activate the option Show multimedia playback controls:

You will have to choose the default application that you use to listen to music.

From now on you can control the songs, without leaving Google Maps.

Share location

There are times when you may be interested in sharing your current location with a family member or friend. For example, if you have gotten lost, you have had an accident, or you have met someone and you want them to find you in an area full of people.

Tap on your profile photo, and choose Share location. Select the contacts who will be able to see it, and the time during which your location remains visible.

Satellite map

By default Google Maps shows a conventional map made up of simple lines.

You may like more that the default map is the satellite one. But keep in mind that this map consumes more data.

To activate it by default, on the main Maps screen, tap on your profile picture.

In the menu that appears, tap Settings. Check the option Start Maps with satellite view.

Always north

The map that Google Maps shows you rotates depending on how you move.

This puzzles some people, who prefer that the map is fixed and always faces north.

If you want to do this, on the main Maps screen, tap on your profile picture. In the menu that appears, tap Settings and then Navigation Settings.

Scroll down to the Map display section, and activate the Keep map with north up option.

Maybe now you see it clearer…

Night mode

Google Maps has a Night mode that activates automatically, for example, when it is night.

But you may be interested in having it always activated, because it is more comfortable for the eyes.

On the main Maps screen, tap on your profile picture. In the menu that appears, tap Settings and then Navigation Settings.

Scroll down to the Map display section, Color section, and activate the Night option.

With this option the maps will produce less brightness and will be more pleasant to read.

Change the arrow

When you follow a route, you can see a blue arrow indicating your location.

If you have already tired of it, leave your finger on it and you can change it for different car models, and other icons.

Screaming or whispering?

It is possible that the voice of Google Maps that gives you directions, is heard too loud. Or on the contrary, there is a lot of traffic noise or you are listening to music, and you can hardly hear it.

You can increase or decrease the volume of the voice, very easily.

On the main Maps screen, tap on your profile picture. In the menu that appears, tap Settings and then Navigation Settings.

At the beginning of everything, in the Sound and Voice section, you will see the option Volume of the indications. Raise or lower it according to your preferences.

Voice commands

If you use the Google Assistant, you can give unique voice commands , which are not present in other apps.

These are some of the most important:

  • How do I get to (place)?
  • Show me a map of the place)
  • Hide traffic or Show traffic
  • Hide satellite view or Show satellite view
  • Sail home
  • Show route description or Show alternative routes
  • What route is this?
  • Find gas stations
  • Find restaurants
  • Send a text message to (contact)
  • What’s the weather like on (site)?
  • What is my next turn?
  • How is the traffic?
  • Exit GPS Navigation

With these quick Google Maps tricks, you’ll make the task of plotting routes and searching for locations a whole lot easier.

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