Five genius things you didn’t know Google Maps could do – including friend tracking and train notifications

IF YOU’RE relying on Google Maps for your directions, then there are five features you need to know right now.

Google Maps is by far one of the most used apps in the world with more than 154 million users per month.

Google Maps comes with many handy features that you may not know about


Google Maps comes with many handy features that you may not know aboutPhoto credit: Getty

Despite its popularity, there are still some features in the app that many users are unaware of.

Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of some of these features to help you get the most out of your Google Mapping experience.

Track your friends location

Many Google Maps users don’t know that you can share your location with friends and vice versa.

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The tool makes it much easier to meet people, especially if you are from different backgrounds or going somewhere else.

To use this feature, simply open Google Maps on your device, tap your profile picture, and then select location sharing.

Next, tap the Share location button.

After that, you can decide how long and with whom you want to share your location.

You can select as many contact names as you want and then tap the share button.

The people you ticked will now receive a notification to follow you.

Receive train notifications

If you’re constantly worrying about missing your train home or work, fear not – Google Maps has got you covered.

The app notifies you of train schedules or disruptions on routes you travel frequently.

To enable this on iOS, go to your iPhone > Settings > Notifications > Google Maps > Allow Notifications.

If you’re using an Android device, go to Settings > Notifications > Turn on notification > and select Google Maps.

Now you can get all the notifications that Google Maps has for you – usually this happens automatically when you’ve started or set up a route.

Use Maps offline

If you’re traveling somewhere unfamiliar and off-duty, you can still access Google Maps if you plan ahead.

Just go to the app on your phone and tap your profile picture in the top right corner.

In this menu you can select offline maps and either view the maps you have already downloaded or select your own map.

If you tap the latter, you can select the area you want to have an offline map for.

Once highlighted, click download and as long as you’re connected to wifi you’ll be able to download your map for offline use.

Explore the locale

If you’re in a new area and curious about what’s nearby, you can just tap Explore on the Google Maps app.

There you can discover fun places to stay, interesting sights and good restaurants.

You’ll also see a rating and description for each location.

Go back in time

To mark its 15th birthday, Google’s Street View introduced a “time travel” feature for smartphones.

The tool allows users to see how landscapes have changed over the years – right from their phones.

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Google’s Street View just released a new “time travel” featureCredit: Google
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Users can access this tool by simply clicking on a famous landmark or building in the street view and then tapping “Show More Data”.

To make the feature even more fun, Google has compiled a list of popular places for users to explore.

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Chris Barrese

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