Navigating your way home through traffic could soon be easier thanks to Google Maps
Google Maps is set to become more useful for drivers everywhere thanks to a major new update.
The Android version of Google’s mobile navigation app is getting a redesign that will make avoiding jams and traffic snarl-ups easier than ever.
And the app will also get a new top spot on your phone, as Google Maps is now directly accessible from your device’s home screen.
Google Maps can now be accessed straight from your Android home screen
The update, which is available to download for free on the Google Play Store from today, looks to take much of the stress out of commuting.
That’s because Google Maps now includes a new information panel at the bottom of your phone’s home screen.
Swipe up from the bottom and three new tabs will appear – one for nearby locations, such as restaurants, coffee shops or even cash machines.
Google Maps will now display real-time information on your commute or drive home
Next to this is a dedicated driving menu, which will now display real-time estimated journeys to your designated home or work locations, as well as details on any expected delays or traffic information.
Lastly, there’s a new tab for public transport information, which looks to make bus and tube journeys smoother.
The tab will again display real-time information on arrivals and departures at the nearest stops or stations nearest your locations, as well as an ETA on when you should arrive.
Google street view's most embarrassing pictures Fri, October 26, 2012
The most embarrassing images from Google street view
Play slideshow 1 of 10
Has this woman really just given birth on a Berlin pavement or is it a training exercise for UK midwives?
The update is the latest in a series of new features that has come to Google Maps in recent months that will aid drivers.
Last month, a new feature was revealed that will now start to display information on the availability of parking spaces at the user’s destination.
The information will even be updated in real-time, allowing users that extra bit of control and time to make decisions on their journeys.
The app will now display local speed limits as part of its GPS journey guide, with a road sign appearing in the bottom corner of Android devices using the Google Maps navigation mode, as well as Google’s own car-centric Android Auto system.
The display changes depending on the current route of your journey, refreshing to reflect urban roads, country byways, and highways.
Elsewhere, Google Maps on mobile devices is now able to see real-time information on just how busy locations and places are before they set off, potentially saving them time and stress.
First introduced in the desktop version of Google Maps, the "Popular Times" service provides live information on how busy somewhere is, including whether it is busier or quieter than usual.
This means users can decide whether to try and battle the crowds, or delay their trip for a time when it is quieter.
The levels can be viewed on an hour-by-hour basis, and even shows how long people spend at a particular location.