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Google Maps for Android picks up intuitive new Driving Mode in latest update

By Adrian Diaconescu January 13, 2016, 7:29 am

The world’s most popular web mapping and navigation service for everything that doesn’t run iOS reached a new functionality peak back in November, when it started receiving its highly anticipated offline voyage features, but believe it or not, there’s still room for improvement.

Major improvement, even, as Google Maps v9.19 for Android adopts a handy Driving Mode which will try to guess where you’re going next. Based on your location history, travel habits, web searches and more, the update aims to make your life easier, shrinking the number of queries and commands required to get from one place to another.

As you drive around, GMaps will offer alternative routes depending on traffic conditions, constant road updates and ETAs, figuring out your next stop as soon as you follow a familiar itinerary. That sounds particularly useful when you have multiple destinations to get to in a tight space, like if you plan on shopping from more than one store by closing time, or wish to visit both family and friends in the same evening.

The bad news is version 9.19 of Google Maps might not be fully finalized and ready for a general Play Store rollout yet, possibly needing a bit of extra time to iron out last-minute bugs, including one that makes Driving Mode activation a fickle, annoying affair.

Other less critical changes deal with audio settings, brought closer to the user for one-step muting and unmuting of turn-by-turn voice instructions, as well as more ways to easily control your Google Maps timeline, i.e. history of places visited in the past.

Source: Android Police

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