Google Maps is streamlining your commute.
Several new features arrived in the app today that will make it easier to multitask while you’re commuting. The updates are all about keeping you in the Google Maps mobile app while getting to work in your car, on the train, bus, or even on foot. Here’s a quick rundown of the updates:
Instead of toggling between Spotify, Apple Music, or Google Play Music to listen to your favorite playlist while you slog through traffic or hang to a strap on a crowded bus, the Google Maps app now integrates with all of those music players.
So your Spotify playlist to pump you up for the workday will now show up on the bottom of the map you’ve pulled up to get to work.
That music integration is all well and good, but many people might think they don’t use the Google Maps app to get to work — you know where you’re going; you go there five times a week. But a new commute tab shows live traffic updates.
So if your usual route is backed up, Google Maps can now tell you how much longer it’ll take to get to your desk. Or the app can tell you an alternate route to take that might seem counterintuitive but avoids the slow-down.
On Android phones, you can receive notifications about delays as they happen.
Mix it up
You might drive to the train station and then walk to the office so your commute is even more likely to get bogged down by something. Never fear, that’s where the mixed-commute info comes in, with each leg of your journey mapped out with delays and possibly shortcuts.
Your route will even let you know when your train is supposed to arrive so your ETA will be more accurate.
The least favorite part about taking public transit is the guessing game: Will my train be leaving the station just as I walk down the stairs? Will it arrive at 8:25 a.m. like it’s supposed to or be 10 minutes late?
So Google Maps is now working with transit systems in 80 cities worldwide (including Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; New York; San Francisco; Orange County; Atlanta; Boise, Sanford, Florida; Indianapolis; Boston; St. Louis; Nashville; Austin; San Antonio; Fresno, California; Lansing, Michigan; and Seattle in the U.S. and Toronto; Moscow; Sydney; Vancouver; São Paulo; Amsterdam; Rotterdam; The Hague; Jakarta; Rio De Janeiro; St Petersburg; and Taipei internationally) to show you where your bus or train is in real time. All on the map.
In Sydney the map will show how crowded the bus or train on Transport New South Wales is in real time, so you will know whether you’ll be taking a seat or preparing for a squished ride. The crowd feature is expected to come to more cities soon.
So while Google Maps can’t make the bus appear or that traffic jam disappear (yet), at least now you’ll know what’s going on.