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Google Maps: 6 Hidden Features You’ll Love


Simplify your commute with these Google Maps tips.

Angela Lang / CNET

If you constantly miss turns and get lost while driving, or always seem to be late at your destination, Google Maps app to ease those driving loads. With his hidden features, the Google Maps app acts as your co-pilot to get you from point A to point B with little frustration.

You probably already know with Google Maps, your most visited addresses are saved, say home, so you can quickly navigate to your destination with just a tap. You probably also use the Maps app to see nearby restaurants, things to do, and maybe even hotels.

But there are additional useful tools built into Google Maps that you may not be aware of, such as using your map offline when you are in a bad signal zone. We explain how to do this, along with some other tips to get you started. This article is regularly updated.

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Use Live View to see exactly where you are going without looking away from your phone

If you’ve parked your car five blocks from your destination, it can be tricky to follow a little blue dot to find out where you’re going. With Google’s Live View tool, you can see exactly where you are going by holding up your phone screen.

The feature uses your camera to scan the buildings around you and places a huge arrow on the screen to help you find the exact location where you need to be. Here’s how to use it.

1. In the Google Maps app, enter your destination and tap Directions.

2. Select the walk icon at the top of the map screen.

3. Tap the at the bottom of the screen Direct images button. It is located next to the Get started button.

4. Point your camera at the buildings and street signs (note that you will need to allow the app to access your camera). When you start walking to your destination, large arrows and the street name will appear on your screen to guide you.

Hide your location with Google Maps incognito mode

With a feature for Android and iPhone users, you can incognito while using Google Maps. This means you can hide your location from other Maps users, as well as locations you’ve searched for. So if you want to surprise your partner with a beautiful necklace, this is what you should do.

Open the Google Maps app, tap your profile icon in the top right corner and select Turn on Incognito Mode. When you’re ready to turn the setting off, follow the same steps and select Turn off incognito mode.


You can use Google Maps offline so you will never be redirected if you have no signal.

Angela Lang / CNET

Use Google Maps offline if you have spotty signal

It never fails. When you need directions the most, your phone loses the signal at the most inopportune time. Fortunately, Google Maps allows you to download your route in advance so you never have to worry about getting lost.

1. Enter your destination in the Google Maps app.

2. Tap the name of the place or address at the bottom of the screen.

3. Tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner.

4. Crane Download offline map.

5. Crane To download. The map for the area you selected is now available to you offline.

Do you plan several stops along the way? Add them to your itinerary

If Google says your trip will take seven hours, but it eventually turns eight, you may not have included your multiple stops along the way. Google Maps allows you to add stops so that you get a more accurate destination time.

1. In the Google Maps app, enter your first destination, such as a gas station or coffee shop.

2. Crane Directions.

3. Tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner.

4. Crane Add stop. Add as many stops as you expect to take.

5. Press Done when you are done adding stops. You now get a more accurate ETA when planning travel.

Easily find a parking space instead of driving until you see one

Knowing where you can and cannot park your car is essential, especially if you are running late for work or driving to an unfamiliar place. Instead of driving around hoping to find a parking spot eventually, use Google Maps to point you in the right direction.

1. In the Google Maps app, enter the location where you need to park.

2. Crane Directions.

3. You see one P. in addition to the estimated time it will take to get to that location. Press P. (for parking). If P is red, it means parking is limited. Blue means that finding a parking space will be easy or moderately challenging

4. Crane Find a parking space.

5. A list of parking areas appears. Select one of the options and tap Add parking space. The car park is added as the first stop on your route and you can continue to your next destination.

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View the street scene of an area you want to go to

Pictures can be deceiving so before booking a hotel that looks good, check it out on Google Maps first.

1. In the Google Maps app, search for a location, such as a hotel, where you are considering staying.

2. In the lower left corner you will see a small box with a picture of the building. This is the street scene of the area, so tap it to see what it looks like.

3. You can zoom in and out and view the area by swiping your finger on the screen.

Do you want more tips? Here’s one newer Google Maps trick to try. Plus, check this one out five useful Google Maps tricks you didn’t know until today and how to use the Google Maps commuting tools.

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