Google Maps update adds 'commute' functionality and music controls to app

October 2, 2018

For those with a commute that can vary wildly in terms of traffic, Google’s got a new solution in its immensely popular Maps app. The company announced Monday that it would be rolling out an update this week featuring a “Commute” tab that allows users to check what type of traffic they’ll face in the morning and afternoon when heading to and from work, according to Tech Crunch.

The feature works like Waze’s ETA function and can help you predict if the traffic will be better or worse within a few hours into the future if you drive to work.

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It’s not all for drivers, though, as the app can also help users find out when to head out for the bus stop or train station, and will even show where their bus or train is on the map in 80 regions around the world. In Sydney, it can even tell users how crowded the next bus will be based on open rider data.

The update also includes the ability to control Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music through the Maps app so that users don’t have to switch between screens if they’re driving or checking your ETA on the bus.

To be able to use the features, users must set their home and work address as well as activating “web and app activity,” which gathers much more personal data including Chrome browsing history, location, credit card purchase history, and more.

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