Saturday, December 24, 2016

Updates Are Coming for Google Maps

Google Maps
While there was a whole bunch of Google updates at Google I/O, Google Maps was almost entirely left out in the cold. However, according to code inside the latest version of Google Maps for Android, some significant new features are on the way.

The folks at XDA Developers have dug through the latest APK for Android, and found some clues to upcoming features including two that we've been waiting for: live ETA sharing and destination shortcuts. There's also a third new feature incoming, and it's slightly creepy.

None of these features are official yet, but clues in the code provide strong hints that they're coming soon. ETA sharing is exactly what it sounds like on the tin: Maps will send a message to whoever they want, with the user's approximate ETA and a blurb about why the traffic is bad.

Destination shortcuts are also obvious - so obvious that many users are confused why they have taken this long to make. Users assign an address an easy name (like 'David's house'), and then search for that when they are setting up their route. Even better, they can create a home screen shortcut, which when they tap it, will open Maps and auto route the user to their destination.

The most dangerous feature is Location History, a map of all the places they have been, with any device that they are signed into with their Google account. Probably a feature most teenagers will want to be turning off, but it is a fun way to see where they spend most of their time.

There's no timeline for when these updates will roll out, but if the code is already in place, it will likely be weeks and not months.

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