There are some things you just can’t imagine life without — coffee, air-conditioning (especially in Singapore’s weather) and Google Maps. The latter, particularly, has revolutionised our lives. From navigating foreign streets when travelling to easily finding the shortest routes or bus timings to your next meeting, Google Maps has got your back.
Especially now with Google Maps covering more than 200 countries and territories, it’s hard to imagine how people used to travel — or just go about their daily lives, basically — pre-Google Maps. Large paper maps that you had to fold and stash in your bag? No thanks.
However, while you may already be using the app every day to help you find the fastest route to your destination, you may not be using it to its full capacity. What you may not know is that Google Maps also boasts some seriously cool hidden functions that will make your day-to-day routine a lot easier.
From marking your parking spot to saving whole areas offline, here are the lesser-known Google Maps features that go beyond just taking you from your hotel to the nearest Korean bar for a bottle (or two) of soju.
Let’s face it, wifi is not easily accessible in every city. Luckily, Google Maps has the function to download areas on the map and get turn-by-turn directions while offline. The app supports areas up to 50 kilometres by 50 kilometres.
How to: Making sure your device has Internet connection, search the name of the location you want to save offline. Tap the bottom of the screen where the name of the location is shown and select “download.”
With Google Maps’ sharing function, you no longer have to entertain “where are you?” questions every few minutes when you’re meeting your friends. Just share your location with selected contacts, and they will know exactly where you are.
How: Tap on the blue dot that represents your current location. Then, tap “share location” to select who to share with and how long to share, and they are able to access your location on their map.
We’ve all gotten ourselves into the inevitable situation where we forget the location of our parking lots. Google Maps now allows you to save your parking location to your map, including notes to remind yourself of your car’s location. Problem solved.
How: When you arrive at a location, tap on the blue dot of your location. This will prompt a pop-up screen where you’ll have the option to mark your parking location on the map.
The latest update just made it more convenient to get to places. Google Maps is now integrated with ride-sharing services like Grab and Uber, allowing you to easily book your rides through the app.
How: Open the ride services tab on Google Maps and tap on “request” to book a ride.
If you’ve ever found it difficult to locate stores in massive shopping malls, you’re not alone. Luckily, Google Maps now offers Indoor Maps, supporting more than 110 venues in Singapore. Shopping malls that have enabled the function include ION Orchard, Great World City and Marina Bay Sands — while MRT stations like Orchard, Raffles Place and City Hall have also been mapped.
How: Simply zoom in and out of a building and explore floor to floor. Check out the list of places that have enabled Indoor Maps here.