Google today announced that it’s starting to roll out a new feature for Google Maps on Android that will provide more real-time commute information that will make it more useful for users.
It will provide easy access to nearby food, traffic info, and commute times in a new information panel at the bottom of the home screen.
Google Maps on Android Improvements
Google Maps Product Manager, Marcus Lowe, writes “Starting today we’re rolling out an update to Google Maps on Android that provides helpful everyday info—in real time—at the bottom of your home screen. Just swipe up and you’ll see three tabs that will help you find a nearby restaurant, beat traffic, or catch the next bus.”
When you swipe up from the bottom of the screen you’ll get the new information pane, which has three tabs:
The Places tab provides you with a list of spots like restaurants, gas stations, or an ATM that’s nearby your current location. It also provides a peek at the area and a short description of the neighborhood.
The Driving tab will give you real-time ETAs from your home to work. It also provides traffic conditions and expected delays.
The Transit tab gives you real-time bus and train routes and schedules. If you live in an urban area, you’ll be able to see the nearest transit stations and when the next bus or subway train will arrive.
None of these features is new and the update might seem minor. But, Google expects that by bundling them into its Maps app makes it easier for busy travelers to find what they need without having to rely on a third-party alternative.
As a reminder, the real-time traffic data is, of course, coming from the mobile devices of their customers as well as Waze, one of its recent acquisitions.
Anyway, there’s no word yet on when it might arrive on iOS, but it is starting to roll out to Android users today.
I haven’t received the update on my Nexus 6P yet, but if you have, leave a comment below and let us know what you think. Does it work well or do you prefer a different app to help you get around?