Waze is nice, but that app caters mostly to car owners and other motorists. If you’re looking for a more inclusive smartphone navigation experience, Google Maps is probably a better bet as it caters to users of alternative modes of mobility.
The app’s upcoming updates add even more pedestrian- and commuter-centric features. Remember Live View? Well, the feature is getting upgraded to provide the same street-level navigation capabilities indoors.
If you’re lost inside a train station or other transport terminal, all you need to do is pop Google Maps out and let Live View’s augmented reality (AR) first-person perspective bring you to where you need to go. The company says it will even guide users to check-in counters, ticket offices, restrooms, and ATMs.
Planning to set out on foot? Google Maps will have a new weather layer that provides forecasts, and a new air quality layer will also show how healthy or unhealthy certain areas are. These features will be rolling out on Android and iOS devices in the coming months, Google says.
Tree-hugging users will also be happy to know that the app will soon highlight eco-friendly ways of getting around town. The new routing model analyzes fuel consumption by taking into account factors like road inclines and congestion, and the app will proceed to default to the route with the least carbon footprint. Users will still have the option to choose the fastest route if they want to, though.
Other new add-ons include a new curbside grocery feature as well as a new directions interface.
Unfortunately for us, none of these features are slated for a Philippine release—at least for now. We’re waiting eagerly for them, though. Considering how convoluted the local public transportation system is here, God knows we could use all the help we can get.