In recent years, Google Maps has gotten plenty of competition, from the likes of HERE Maps, Apple Maps and even Bing Maps. Which has forced Google to work on some new features for Maps so that they can stay ahead of the pack, and keep Maps as the number one navigation app and service. And it now looks like a few new features may be on their way. It appears, according to Ausdroid, that Google Maps is working on some new location sharing features.
There appears to be a new “Friends” section in the slideout drawer in Google Maps. From there you can see a list of friends (which can be customized), which is likely where you’ll be able to share your location with specific people. Another addition that was spotted in the app was a “navigation sharing” that can be toggled on and off. There was also a “Hands-free faster route” found in Google Maps, where the user is asked if they want to take a faster route to their destination, and since it’s hands-free, the user will be able to simply say “yes” or “no”. Google is also supposedly working on increasing the information that Maps stores offline. That way the app is still pretty useful when you are without a data connection.
It’s important to note here that these features are indeed in internal testing. Which means that they may come to the app at some point, but they also might not. That’s the whole point of internally testing features, to see if they are worth coming to the app and to polish them so that there are as few bugs as possible. These features aren’t appearing for any end-users, so it’ll likely be quite some time before they end up in the stable version of Google Maps on the Google Play Store. These features could be pretty useful though, especially the ability to share your location with your friends or family. So when your mom asks you where you are, you can show here on Google Maps where exactly you are. But in the meantime, we’ll be taking these new features with a grain of salt.