Google announced a handful of improvements to Google Maps, including updates to the COVID overlay, takeaway ordering features, and real-time information on public transport congestion. Alongside this, the company states that the Google Assistant Driving Mode, which gives you access to features like voice control for music while driving, will be previewed in the US.
The Google Assistant driving mode was first announced at Google I / O 2019 and was discovered Introduced on some Android devices last month. The mode provides voice control for features like phone calls and media playback from the map navigation screen, so you can access them while keeping an eye on the road. This includes reading new messages from various messaging apps, answering phone calls and playing media from services like Spotify, YouTube Music and Google Podcasts. According to Google, users have the option to activate the mode via a popup in Maps or via the settings of the Google Assistant.
Next up are improvements to the COVID-19 overlay for Google Maps that was launched back in September. More information will be added for Android and iOS in the coming weeks, including details on the total number of cases detected in an area and links to COVID information provided by local authorities. Google says this could help you find information about local rules and regulations when you travel.
There are improvements to the information Google Maps shows about how crowded public transit is. According to Google, maps can now show you how crowded public transport is in real time. This will help you avoid a particular train or bus route when it will be difficult to distance yourself socially. It uses feedback from Google Maps users and will be available worldwide for Android and iOS. The function first builds on the predictive information about congestion from Google started offering last year.
Google Maps will also show more food takeaway information from the app on iOS and Android after the feature has been added Place food orders directly last year. It can now show delivery forecast times or when a meal is ready to be picked up from a restaurant. According to Google, the feature will be rolled out in the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, Brazil and India.
According to Google, nearly 250 new features have been added to Maps this year since the pandemic began. Many of these are designed to help people find their way in a time of new health regulations and social distancing. These have included Face-Covering Rules Warnings on public transport, as well as warnings to call a doctor in advance if you do I think you have COVID-19.