Before Android or the iPhone, Google Maps was only available online via your computer. In those early days, people printed out hard copies of routes to use in their car. Thirteen years later, the mapping and directions tool is used by more than 1 billion people, mostly via their phones while driving.
In a sign of how truly mobile Google Maps has become, new features announced Tuesday atwill help you multitask safely while following turn-by-turn directions.
The update makes Google Maps less reliant on visuals for communication and interactions. If you’re following directions for a route, you can have Maps read your text messages. This is one of a series of new active commands that encourage a hands- and eyes-off experience.
One of the coolest commands is “share my ETA.” Google estimates your arrival time, then sends it as a message.
These updates will come to Google Maps this summer. The announcement follows on the heels of last week’s announcement of the Google Maps Platform, a streamlined collection of APIs for third-party app developers.
: All our coverage of this year’s developer conference.
: Experimental technology called Duplex, rolling out soon in a limited release, makes you think you’re talking to a real person.