I’m seated in a matatu and the traffic on the highway is building up. I look over to the conductor and he whips out his phone. I assume he is calling other conductors at their stations to find out the best route to take. To my amusement, he turns on his phone and opens Google Maps. He checks the traffic, picks the best route and informs the driver to change routes. “What a time to be alive.”
Google Maps is one of the most reliable navigation apps around. It allows users to be able to travel to their destinations using the best route possible while being able to discover new places along the way. Getting lost and is slowly becoming a thing of the past and we can thank Google Maps for this.
In Kenya, Google Maps has become very popular. It is mostly used by drivers, taxi’s riders and pedestrians to find their way across towns and cities. Its reliability and accuracy make it stand out among other navigation apps.
It shows traffic in real-time. Through its integrated UI, you can be able to discover new places ranging from restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, hotels, chemists, petrol stations to gyms, libraries and ATMs.
Google has rolled out updates that would help make commuting and navigation much more comfortable and interactive. Here’s a look at some of these updates.
Google Assistant Integration
Having to make stopovers on other navigation apps requires you to change routes and set up different destinations with each stopover. With the integration of Google Assistant, you just have to speak your destination, e.g. “find the nearest petrol station” and voice recognition will do the rest and the nearest petrol stations will be highlighted. This enhances its functionality and reduces the commuters’ risk of distraction on the road.
Commute And Explore Tab
This tab has been developed by Google to help commuters explore and find new places without having to do much. By just clicking on an icon, for example, restaurants, it shows you where all the restaurants close to you are.
Music Streaming Integration
Many users like to listen to music while on their journey to their destination. This however mostly requires you to open a different app and closing your Google Maps. Well not any more. Google has now integrated music streaming into their Maps app thus allowing you to listen to music from either Spotify or Google Play Music without having to switch apps.
Every day developers are doing their best to make things work easier, smoother and faster. This is just one small step for Google but they are heading in the right direction to making the world a better and easier place to live in.