Amazing, yet hidden features of Google Maps you need to try



Google Maps is the one indispensable app we rely on to get to places. But not just that – we also use it frequently to search for restaurants near us or the opening times of stores. It is thus without exaggeration to claim that Google Maps is one app many of us can’t live without these days. 

We use it to get to places during our travels, map walking routes to unfamiliar spots and favourite lists of restaurants, cafes and bars to check out. 

Google Maps has tons of useful features that make daily life that much more convenient. We explore some useful features to maximise your use of the app. 

Key features of Google Maps for navigation


When it comes to navigation, Google Maps is a reliable tool in most countries to find your way around. But it does more than just simple navigation. Some key features include: 

  • Navigation by road, public transport and walking 
  • See available cycling routes (only in available countries)
  • Ability to add multiple destinations along your route 
  • Plan directions for future trips by setting when to depart or arrive by
  • Check when the last bus or train is
  • Share your trip progress in real time 
  • Show traffic conditions along your route (for drivers)
  • Avoid tolls and highways (on computer) 
  • Search for a place along your route (eg. Restaurant, gas station) 
  • Create a list of places to visit and share them with others
  • Save maps to your phone to access offline 

Other lesser-known Google Maps features


While the above features are part of usual everyday navigation that many of us use, there are some other lesser known Google Maps features that we can make use of to make things more convenient. 

  1. Save your parking spot 

Drivers, never forget where you parked again with Google Maps’ Save parking feature! After you park, open up Google maps and click the “Save parking” button to mark the spot you’re at. 

When it’s time to go, open up Google maps and you’ll see a pin marked “You parked here”. You can even click it for directions to show you the way back. 

  1. Find true north 

Did you know there’s a hidden compass feature in Google Maps? 

Simply click the location button and a compass sign will appear the at the top right. 

Tap the compass button and it will point you to where north is. Handy when you’re navigating in the wild or if you get turned around when coming out from the underground. 

  1. Navigating the streets with augmented reality 

It can be tough walking around in new cities when you’re travelling, especially when you’re hauling your luggage around and can’t find your hotel. 

You probably know how to use the app to get walking directions. But there’s also live view that allows you to see directions in real time. 

After you get the walking directions, select Live View. This switches on your phone camera and shows you direction arrows on top of the camera! No more getting lost with the arrows right in front of you! 

  1. Don’t leave tracks in incognito 

Going incognito in Google Maps helps you leave no trace of where you’ve been. 

Simply click your profile picture and click Turn on Incognito mode. 

  1. Making routes more accessible 

Wheelchair users and caregivers can search for routes that are wheelchair accessible. 

Set your destination ok Google Maps > click directions > and click the transit icon.

Then select the 3 dots icon > route options >  wheelchair accessible. 

This shows wheelchair accessible public transport routes. 

You can also get accessibility options for your destination by adjusting your settings. 

Click Settings > click Accessibility settings > toggle on accessible places. 

This will show you places that have accessible features such as entrances, seats, toilets, and parking. 

  1. Use voice to navigate  

Driving somewhere unfamiliar while navigating roads and traffic can be tough. You want to make sure your full concentration is on the road and not constantly keep checking your map. 

Android users can set up the Google Assistant in their settings. Then when you’re driving, simply say “Ok Google” and say your command. 

  1. Measure distance between locations 

On your computer, click the start point you want to start measuring from. Then right click “Measure distance” from the drop down menu and click the point you want to measure to. 

You can also drag and change the route accordingly so that you know exactly how far you will travel. 

Google Maps now has a label for LGBTQ+ owned business


Show your support and allyship for LGBTQ+ owned businesses! Google launched this feature in 2022, allowing merchants to add an LGBTQ+ label to their profile. 

This lets users who want to support these businesses easily search and identify businesses to support. It’s also great for members of the community who want a safe space to hang out at. 

The LGBTQ+ label joins other labels on Google Maps for women-owned, black-owned, latino-owned and veteran-owned businesses. 

Does Google Maps have a tracking feature? 


Yes it does! Google Maps lets you track someone else’s location as long as you have the person’s consent to share it with you. Simply tap your profile picture and enable Location sharing. 

Once someone has enabled location sharing, you can now see where they are on Google Maps.

This is especially useful for parents to check their child’s location in case anything untoward happens, or when family members are overseas and you know where they’re at in case any emergency arises. 

Get a great data plan to use Google Maps 


Google Maps is awesome, but it cannot work without data. To ensure that you can get to places without any hassle, be sure to sign up for an affordable and sizeable data plan. 

Which is where M1’s SIM-only plans come in: offering you an unbeatable price of 80GB for just $17.95 per month, or, you can even opt for the 100GB plan for just $19.95 per month
These plans also come with unlimited free calls to 3 M1 numbers and 1,000 minutes talktime and 1,000 SMSes. And just for mPowered readers – you can get $15 off your first month with the network! So don’t wait, sign up now!