Virtually every current smartphone has a GPS receiver, and while some apps may use your location to know the kind of ads you might want to see or regionalize their content, the most popular apps that use this kind of sensor are the mapping applications, these are the ones that let us to never carry a printed map and they reduced the sales of the in-car GPS devices. Google Maps has become one of the best solutions over time, even when Apple tried to get rid of them, they returned due to popular demand. They integrate different views, turn-by-turn navigation guided by voice and even reviews to some points of interest. While the app is intuitive and we have gotten used to it, there are some features you still may not know they existed and could really improve your experience. Unfortunately, not all of them are available in every region, but you might as well try to see which ones could work for you.
The first tip is for the desktop version, but it allows bikers to see the elevation of the ground to choose the best (or less tiring) route, just by selecting a biking route, an elevation profile is shown. Google Maps saves the places you’ve visited in case you have enabled the location reporting and location history, so you can see how much you’ve moved in the current day and up to the last 30 days here. On the mobile app, you can easily share a location by pressing it and selecting the way you would like it to be sent. One that may be useful when your data plan is about to finish or you are traveling around is the option to save parts of a map to use them online, make sure that the screen is showing the part you want to save, then tap on an empty search bar, go all the way to the bottom and you’ll find the button to “Save a new offline map”, if you scroll to the top you can see icons for restaurants, bars, cafes or attractions near you or simply search for ATMs or Gas Stations to see the nearest ones.
You can make the experience more personal by choosing your Home or Work destinations, so you don’t have to type those addresses every time, you may also save your favorite locations and then see them under “My Places” below your profile. If you use public transportation more often than not, you might find the schedule for buses or trains very useful, it is under the transportation option and then pressing the graph icon on the left side under the chosen destination. Finally, to make it easier to manipulate your phone one-handed, double-tap the map and by sliding your finger up, you are able to zoom out, sliding it down lets you zoom in.