Google Experimenting With Home/Work Shortcuts In Android Maps

Google started experimenting with destination shortcuts in its Maps Android app, having debuted a couple of cards that allow users to quickly select their home and work addresses to be directed toward them. The functionality still seems to have limited availability and is only appearing to some users running the latest beta version of Maps on Android devices. The redacted screenshot below shows how the new cards look, in addition to revealing that they're positioned immediately beneath the search bar on the app's home screen. The buttons don't appear to be disableable and don't hide any other functionalities.

They also don't appear until the user taps on the search bar, with that behavior presumably being implemented so that the app's main interface isn't cluttered by default. As a result, home and work shortcuts in Maps work in a similar manner to how they operate in Uber and Lyft's main apps, making usage more efficient in a relatively intuitive manner. Google hasn't commented on the existence of the feature in any capacity and its beta appearance doesn't guarantee a stable rollout in the future, albeit it does make it much more likely.

Earlier this week, the Mountain View, California-based company started rolling out a Material Design revamp to some Maps users, with the deployment being likely to be completed on a global level at some point this summer. The world's most popular navigation service is presently also being infused with a wide variety of artificial intelligence functionalities, as are most other digital offerings from Alphabet's subsidiary which is now positioning AI as the central piece of its long-term business strategy. The Maps app still isn't monetized in a particularly aggressive manner and lacks traditional advertising despite being entirely free to use across all platforms, with Google previously signaling it may be looking at sponsorships and similar promoted listings to make money with it in the future.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]