Some of the most stressful moments of the workday don't actually happen between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. while sitting at a desk, but rather while sitting behind the wheel of a car, helplessly stuck in traffic. If this sounds like your regular morning and evening routine, then fear not frustrated commuters; Google has introduced a series of updates to the Google Maps application which promises to make traveling easier and hopefully much less stressful.
In a recently released blog post, Google announced these new features will help users plan ahead, prepare for disruptions, and maybe even be able to avoid them altogether. It all starts with the brand new commute tab, which will basically act as your personal guide to all things transit-related. Prior to these updates, Google Maps came with features like bus times, traffic warnings and estimates for your travel time, but the commute tab will go the extra mile to help you get where you need to go as efficiently as possible.
"We'll tell you if your commute is going to be a normal one or if you'll need to budget extra time due to things like an accident or heavy traffic," the post explained. "In the case of a delay, we'll tell you about alternative routes to help you get to work faster. On Android, you'll also receive notifications about delays and disruptions on your route as they happen, so you can know about an incident before you get caught up in the delay."
This feature won't just help those users who travel by car, though. The new commute tab will incorporate all different sorts of travel types, like public transit. After all, there are lots of people whose commute involves different modes of transportation, like driving and then travel via train or subway. Now, those people will be able to see specific information about each leg of their journey, like traffic or when their next train is due to depart from the station. You'll also know for sure whether you have enough time to stop and pick up a quick coffee before you need to catch your ride.
Perhaps most interestingly, the commute tab will track your stride and let you know if you're not walking fast and need to pick up the pace if you want to make your train.
This update will also allow users to listen to music while using Google Maps without having to switch between applications. Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music will all be available within the app. Not only is this useful to those using transit, but it also proves a much safer feature for drivers who may risk getting seriously distracted while trying to toggle between Maps and their music apps. Now, everything is in one easy place and eyes can be kept safely on the road.
Expecting a package but not sure when you'll need be home to receive it? Google Maps has you covered. Now you can use the app to track Amazon deliveries and Uber pickups in real time. No more missed deliveries.
These new features will be available for Android, iOS and PC users following an upcoming update. As of right now, Google's announcement only specifies North American and Australian availability, so there may be a bit of a wait before these updates open up to UK users as well. Unfortunately, they'll just have to keep putting up with frustrating commutes for a little while longer.