A new update to Google Maps for Android is rolling out and with it comes a much improved places near you tab and real time commute information. All of this information can be found by swiping up in Google Maps which will now display a three-tab page. The first tab is Places which has been in Maps for a while now. This gives you local places such as places to eat, have a drink, ATMs and fuel stations that are near you. The Places tab not only serves as a great place to discover something new but also gives you places that you have been before so you can revisit them. Functionally, you won’t find much difference in this release over what is there now. It has just been cleaned up a bit and put into this more contemporary navigation tab model.
The new driving tab is designed to give you real time ETAs to home and work. It also gives you nearby traffic conditions and expected delays. Equally, if you want real time traffic information but don’t need turn-by-turn navigation, you can tap the Start Driving button and go directly into Driving Mode in Google Maps. For this feature to work, you need to have stored your home and work address with your Google account. You can actually set those up within Maps under Settings>Your Places.
Finally there is the new transit tab. While the information for public transportation was in Maps before, having it in the new navigation tabs makes it
quick and easy to figure out when the next bus or train is for you with just a tap instead of several taps. Based on your home and work address, Maps will give you a recommended bus or train to take, when the next bus or train is to depart your starting point and your ETA of when you will arrive at home or work. If you are heading somewhere else other than work or home, you can swipe down to find nearby transit stations along with real time schedules.
All of these improvements are aimed to just making life easier when using Google Maps. Look for the update to come to your Android phone or tablet over the course of the next few days.