Google Maps Picks Up Key Commuter Features

Posted on October 2, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Google, iOS, Mobile with 4 Comments

Google this week announced new features for Maps on Android and iOS that are aimed at commuters. Among them is a new Commute tab that brings everything a commuter needs to a central location.

“Today, we’re rolling out new features on Google Maps to help you take control of your daily commute— enabling you to plan ahead, prepare for the inevitable disruptions, and possibly avoid them altogether,” Google Maps group product manager Ramesh Nagarajan writes. “Oh, and we’ll also help you have a bit of fun along the way.”

Here’s what’s new.

Commute tab. The new Commute tab provides personalized live traffic and transit information, warnings when your commute will be longer than usual, and reports about traffic and accidents. And as before, Maps will tell you about alternative routes proactively when there are problems.

Support for mixed-mode commutes. Because many commutes involve multiple legs—perhaps part-way in a car and then on a train or bus—Maps will now factor each part of the commute into its tracking so that you will be alerted about delays in any part of the commute and will always have an accurate ETA.

Real-time transit delay information. Transit riders in over 80 regions will now receive real-time information about the exact location of the bus or train they wish to catch. And in a few select locations, you can even find out how full a bus or train is. (This feature will be expanded “soon,” Google says.)

Music service integration. Google is integrating Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music into Maps so that you can control your music while in navigation view and not have to switch apps in traffic.

Google says that these new features are rolling out to Maps on Android and iOS this week. I don’t yet see it on any of my phones, but will keep looking. (You can tell you’ve been upgraded when the tabs at the bottom change from Explore, Driving, and Transit to Explore, Commute, and For you.)

 

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