Google is adding new features to its Google Maps app, making navigating easier, faster, and perhaps a bit more safe. These new features are rolling out to Maps users in over 40 countries and you don’t even need to update the app to get these features.
Last week Google began adding several new features to its Maps app to help you be more mindful of your speed. When using the Google Maps app to navigate, you’ll see on the maps —
- speed traps
- speed cameras
- speed limits
Android users are also able to report speed traps and speed cameras, Tap the + plus sign at the bottom of the screen in the app to send a report to Google Maps (note: don’t do this while driving).
When Google bought the navigation app Waze in 2013, many people speculated that Google would incorporate Waze’s helpful alerts into the Google Maps app. With these new features being added to Google Maps, Google appears to be doing that. We will have to see whether Google will continue to add other helpful Waze features, such as reports of cars on the side of the road, debris in the road, potholes and more.
How to Use the New Features in Google Maps
These new features are available in the Google Maps app for iPhone/iPad and Android. Google added these new features to its service, not to the app, so you don’t need to update the Google Maps app to get access to these features.
To use these new features, open the Google Maps app and enter an address to begin navigation. Unfortunately, these features only appear in the Google Maps app when actively navigating, so you can’t use them to plan a trip before you leave, nor can you use them on the Google Maps website.
While navigating using the Google Maps app you should be able to see a speed limit sign on the map. If so, then you know you have access to these new features.
The speed limit sign appears at the side of the map. The speed trap and speed camera alerts appear as icons on the map.
According to TechCrunch, “Google Maps uses a combination of authoritative feeds along with feedback from Google Maps users in order to locate the speed cameras.” It’s not clear whether reports from Waze users are used to provide warnings in Google maps.
Availability of New Google Maps Features
If you don’t have access to these new Google Map features, just wait. Google is rolling them out and some people are reporting seeing them while others don’t have the features quite yet. As stated above, you don’t have to update the Google Maps app in order to have access to these new features.
According to TechCrunch, Google has confirmed that these new features are available for Google Maps in the following 40 countries:
Australia, Brazil, U.S., Canada, U.K., India, Mexico, Russia, Japan, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe.
Are you excited by the new features in Google Maps? Do you have access to these new features in Google Maps? Do you wish you could use these features in Google Maps when you’re not actively navigating and/or on the Google Maps website?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
*Speed Trap photo (edited) courtesy of POD via Flickr and Creative Commons