Google Maps Gains "Commute" Tab Indicating Current Traffic Conditions

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In short: Google Maps has added a few more features to the app, making it easier for everyone to get to and from work faster, and not worry about traffic as much. The biggest change that Google has added is a Commute tab. This tab will give you current traffic conditions, so you can see whether traffic is bad or not. It will also let you know if there are some accidents or construction on your route, so you can plan in some extra time to get around those. Google is also adding features for those that drive and use public transit to get to work. It will highlight service bulletins in Google Maps, so you will know if a train is not running, or if there's construction on the tracks. And Google has also added music playback to Google Maps, so you can listen to your favorite music without leaving the Google Maps app. This works with Apple Music, Google Music and Spotify, currently.

Background: Google has long had traffic conditions as part of its Maps app – largely from its purchase of Waze a few years ago. However, these features are a bit more granular and provide more accurate traffic conditions. The information here is also likely being taken from Waze – which is a crowdsourced mapping app that will indicate when there is construction, accidents, police spotted and much more. Now with these new changes to Google Maps, users should be spending less time in the car on the way to work.

Impact: These new commute features are rolling out this week on iOS and Android. It's unclear right now if there is an app update needed for this to work, but it is always important to keep your app up-to-date anyways, so make sure you have the latest version of Google Maps from the Apple App Store or Google Play store, depending on your platform.

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