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6 useful Google Maps tricks that you did not know until today


These Google Maps tricks are quite practical – you should learn them.

Angela Lang / CNET

Google Maps is your choice when checking driving times and finding the nearest grocery store open late on a Sunday night. But if you only use the Maps app on your iPhone or Android phone for the basics, you will miss it. Google Maps has several overlooked features that you may not be aware of.

For example, when visiting other countries you can use Google Maps to translate the name of where you are trying to go (like a cafe) – which is extremely useful if you use a cab to get there. You can also use Maps indoors when you are at the airport.

Note that some of these features are limited to Android phones or iPhones.

Share your Plus Code location with others (Android only)

If you do not know an area you are in but need to send your place to friends, you can now. A new Google Maps feature for Android phones, you can share your six-digit Plus Code location with others. To get started, open the Google Maps app and tap the blue dot (the one indicating where you are). Your six-digit code is displayed at the top of the screen to share with friends and family.

Translate place names and addresses

If you are planning an international trip and have not strengthened the language of the country, you are still lucky. Google Maps has a new feature that lets you listen to the names of restaurants and other places you are interested in traveling to in the area’s native language.

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To use the language tool, find where you want to go and tap it. Next to the place name, you will see a speaker icon. Press the loudspeaker to hear the pronunciation so you can learn to say the word. Now you can travel around any country like a pro.


Screenshot of Katie Conner / CNET

Customize your car icon (iPhone only)

Tired of looking at a little blue arrow while driving? No problem – you can change the arrow icon to a vehicle icon to make it more personal. Choose between a red sedan, a green truck or a yellow SUV.

This makes it easier to see where you are on the map, rather than searching for the blue arrow that blends into the map. Unfortunately, this is only available for iPhone drivers right now, but we assume that Android phones will get this feature in the future.

Order food

If you’d rather stay home in your PJ files than go out for lunch, Google Maps has you covered. The Maps app uses services like DoorDash, Postmates, Delivery.com, Slice and ChowNow to deliver your food order to you.

When you are in Maps, search for a participating restaurant and press Order online. Then select Delivery and choose a service to deliver the food. Now you can add what you want to eat to your cart. When you are done, select Check, enter your payment details and then press Place your order.

Measure the distance between areas

If you want to know the distance between two places, you will find this Google Maps tool handy. It’s called Measure Distance and you can use it on your desktop and phone. It gives you the total distance in feet and kilometers.

If you use Google Maps in your browser on your PC or Mac, right-click on the starting point in Google Maps. Then select Measure distance and continue on the measurement path until you have selected the entire area you want to see the distance to.

If you are using your phone, hold down the starting point until you see a dropped pin. Tap the menu at the bottom of the screen and select Measure distance. You see a series of blue dots – to move them on the road, you have to drag your finger across the screen in the direction you want to measure. When you have reached where you want to stay, press Add point. A new set of blue lines appears and you can repeat the steps until you have measured the entire area.


You can also use Google Maps indoors.

Angela Lang / CNET

Use Maps indoors

Finding around a large airport can be tricky, especially if you are not a frequent flyer. Fortunately, you can use Google Maps to navigate around unknown terminals. And the map shows you nearby gates, restaurants, shops, lounges and other places of interest in the area.

To get started, search for the terminal you are looking for in Google Maps. You can zoom in and out to see different floors and switch to them by tapping the floor. This feature is also available for participating malls and other large venues.

Ready for more Google Maps tips? Check these out six hidden Google Maps tricks we found and five smart Google Maps tricks to see more than just what’s on the map.

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