Even if you leave your home with the best of intentions -- early, wide awake, coffee in hand -- traffic can still derail you. And even if you beat rush hour, there's no guarantee that an accident won't set you back. Do you stick out the traffic or detour on a road that takes 20 minutes longer?
Historically, Google Maps (iOS, Android) has worked to make your commute as quick and painless as possible. The app finds the fastest route and guides you, updating along the way about traffic, and rerouting if necessary.
Google Maps will now be even more detailed, with four new commuter features rolling out for users this week.
1. Commute Tab
A new Commute tab will appear in the bottom bar in the app, between the "Explore" and "For You" tabs.
Commute will update you on live traffic and transit information as it relates to your commute. The feature will tell you what traffic to expect on your route and if you should leave early. If there's a delay, the app will offer alternate routes.
Android users will get traffic delay notifications as they travel.
2. Mixed-mode commutes
Not everyone drives a car. Google Maps will give more in-depth traffic information to people who take the bus, train, bike, or walk.
The feature can tell if there will be traffic, when a train leaves, or how long it takes to walk from the station to your office.
"We do the work for you and automatically factor this into your ETA so you can anticipate exactly when you'll get to work," Google said in its blog.
3. Detailed bus and train information
Transit riders in 80 regions worldwide will be able to track their train or bus in real time.
"This will help you plan your day more efficiently--you'll know if you can spend an extra few minutes grabbing coffee, or if you really do need to make a run for it to catch your bus," Google said.
Google Maps has also teamed up with Transport New South Wales so users in Sydney, Australia can even see how full their train or bus will be.
Google said the feature will be coming to more cities soon.
4. Music controls
In Google Maps' latest update, you'll also have access to music streaming apps within navigation.
Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music will be available to control without swapping between screens. Through Navigation, you can pick songs, albums, podcasts, and playlists in Spotify.
"Say goodbye to toggling between apps, and rock out knowing that you can keep your eyes where they should be--on the road," Google said.
Of course, if you must adjust your music, you should do so when you're stopped or with steering wheel controls.
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- Google Maps is rolling out new features to make your commute easier and more efficient.
- The features include a new "Commute" tab, more detailed information for most forms of transportation, tracking buses and trains, and controlling your music without leaving the app.
- Google Maps app is getting more Waze traffic report features that people love
- You can now listen to Apple Music in Android Auto
- New 'Call Me Out' app by Chevrolet hopes to reduce distracted driving
- Google Maps' new group feature lets friends vote on places to eat and hang out
- Google Maps finally comes to Apple CarPlay with iOS 12 (CNET)
- Google Maps updated to work with Camera, offer smart recommendations (ZDNet)
- Google Maps for iOS update could make it easier to get to work on time (TechRepublic)