Google Maps testing new “Dock to bottom” button on desktop
Google Maps is one of the best mapping services around, with an ever-growing array of features to make going from Point A to Point B easier. However, comparing data between different locations and businesses in Google Maps can be difficult, as the desktop site and mobile apps only have one information panel (on the left side). Thankfully, it looks like Google is testing a new feature that will make switching between listings a bit faster.
Google Maps is currently testing a new “Dock to bottom” button, which moves whatever location or business you have selected to a new dock at the bottom of the screen (via Search Engine Roundtable). Much like the Dock on macOS, or the Taskbar on Windows, you can scroll through all docked items and click on one to open it. There’s also a close button on each dock item, and when everything is closed, the dock is hidden.
It’s not clear yet if the button will arrive on smartphones or tablets at some point, or if it will remain exclusive to the Google Maps website. Regardless, it’s definitely in the early stages of testing — it’s not live on any of my Google accounts, and there are only a few other reports of people seeing the button.
Jumping between different locations and businesses is definitely one of the clunkier use cases for Google Maps, so any improvement there is certainly welcome. The ability to have multiple information cards open at once (or pop them out into their own browser windows) would also be handy, but the bottom dock is another way of accomplishing that without the requirement for extra screen space.