[Update: Real-time Location Sharing] Google Maps v9.49 beta Finally Remembers your ‘Avoid Tolls’ Preference and Saves your Parking Location
Google apps get minor point updates on a nearly daily basis, so most of the time when a new update is released on our devices we don’t bat an eyelid. Hence, normally we generally don’t what changes with minor updates to Google apps, because they happen so often that usually there’s nothing really interesting to talk about.
But this time is different. After years of railing on Google Maps for not allowing us to save our parking location or our route preference (despite the fact that the iOS version has had the latter feature for a long time), the latest beta update to Maps finally adds both features.
Remembering Route Preference
If you live in a large city with tons of highways like I do, then you’ll likely find yourself having to plan your routes to avoid toll roads. Google Maps has an “avoid tolls” feature built in, but for the longest time the feature required manually enabling it every single time you wanted to go somewhere.
We came up with a Tasker solution to automatically avoid toll roads when starting navigation, and later Google added a feature to change your route preference while in the middle of navigation by speaking an “OK Google” command. Now, however, Google Maps will simply remember what route preference you set from a previous trip and use that for your subsequent trip. Try it out!
Saving your current parking spot is an oft-requested feature, one that we also cooked up a Tasker script to solve. Google Maps v9.49 beta finally allows you to save your parking location, albeit you have to do so manually. Simply tap on your current location in Maps (indicated by the blue dot) and you will see a dialog with a new option to save your parking.
To be honest, it’s not all that different than saving this location manually and labeling it “parking” but it’s nice in that it skips a step and labels it your parking spot for you. Hopefully the feature becomes more intelligent in the future, so Google Maps can automatically detect when we’ve parked.
Download Google Maps v9.49 beta over on APKMirror.
Update: Real-Time Location Sharing
And just like that, Google has also granted another highly sought after feature request: the ability to share your location in real-time. I’m sure you’ve come across situations where you are traveling to a destination and your boss, family, or friend asks you where you’re at or how long until you get there. This happens to everyone, but unless you’re comfortable with OK Google voice commands, it’s quite difficult to quickly (and safely) update your boss/family/friend on your current location. That changes soon.
In an official blog post, Google has announced that users will soon be able to share their location with just a few taps in the Android version of the application. All you have to do is open the sidebar menu or tap on the blue dot that represents your current location, and then tap “share location” to choose who to share your location with and for how long they should receive location updates. Your friends and family will be able to open the Google Maps app on their device to see your real-time location for as long as you’ve granted them access, represented by an icon with your Google profile picture.
Finally, if you anticipate that you may be late or you expect someone will ask you about your trip beforehand, you can share your entire trip details by tapping the “more” button on the navigation screen and selecting “share trip.” Your chosen contacts will see your trip with an expected ETA and can follow the journey along until you reach your destination.
The update that will include this new location sharing feature isn’t contained in an APK file, unlike the route saving preference and the parking location feature mentioned earlier. You’ll have to wait for Google to roll out this feature via a server side update.