Google Maps continues to improve with three new features announced on the official blog, including automatic departure and arrival notifications when the location sharing function is activated. Convenient for reassure a loved one, for example during a long trip. Likewise, cyclists will be better guided with the new update on iOS and Android.
Google Maps is always more convenient
Google Maps adds location sharing notifications that can alert you when someone has arrived or left a location. When this feature becomes available, open its page in the app to start the setup process. Alerts are issued “every time” a person arrives or leaves, i.e. continuously.
Let’s say you’re going to a concert with a group of friends. If they’ve already chosen to share their location with you, you can set up a notification for the venue address so you know when they’ve arrived and find them quickly. You can also set up a notification to know when they left the concert venue, in case you part ways.
The app is supposed to make it easier for people to “coordinate their schedules and have peace of mind”, with the latter being particularly great for making sure someone gets to a place.
I plan to use this feature this summer, especially when I go on a solo hike. By having my sister set up a notification for me so she can see when I’ve made it back to the trailhead parking lot, I can be sure that someone will know I made it back safely.
Regarding privacy, Google said “notifications can only be set for someone who has already opted in to share their location with you.” People who share their location will receive several reminders that it’s active and someone has set an in/out notification:
The person who shared their location with Google is rolling out a handful of new Maps features for the summer, but the highlight is a significant update to location sharing that lets you receive arrival and departure notifications.
In addition to stopping location sharing, you can “prevent someone from setting notifications”. Google Maps is rolling out location sharing notifications globally now for Android and iOS.
Google loves cycling
Another important new feature is improved bike guidance. More and more people are getting on their bicycles! Over the past few months, the number of cyclists has increased by more than 40% worldwide, which is not surprising since warmer weather and high gas prices are causing people to opt for modes more sustainable transport.
Google Maps has been providing cycling directions for over 12 years using AI combined with city data, trusted map partners, and feedback from the Google Maps community. With our new cycling route insights, you’ll soon be able to easily compare cycling routes and see even finer details (when this data becomes available) to prepare for the ride ahead.
In addition to seeing the elevation gain along your route, you will now know if you will encounter heavy traffic, stairs or steep inclines. You’ll also be able to get a very detailed breakdown of the route itself, so you know at a glance what kind of road you’ll be riding on, for example a main road or a local street. Nice !
Download the free app Google Maps – GPS & transport