5 Pro Tips for Using Google Maps on Mobile

Compass on bottom of a globe

While Apple Maps is a thing now, nothing compares to the quality of Google and its mapping software. From finding businesses to getting directions to virtually walking down a street, Google Maps is the best. (“True dat!” “Double True!”)

While most Google Maps users know the basics of the service, there are quite a few lesser-known features that are just as amazing; they’re just a little harder to find.

Check out these five pro tips for Google Maps on your mobile device and let us know in the comments if you have any of your own favorite tips.

1. Save Places in Google Maps

If you frequently search for the same address, you can save it so it’s easier to find. You can do this with Google Maps for browsers, Android, and even iOS. You need to be logged in to your Google account for this to work.

Location details displayed in Google Maps

To save a place for later using your browser, just type the address in the search bar and hit Enter. Next, click the Save button (star) and you’ve saved a location. Now when you want to find that location again, just start typing the name and it’ll come up automatically.

2. Sync Searches Across Devices

One of the big selling points of Apple Maps is its ability to send directions from your Mac to your iPhone with a click. This way, you can use your more comfortable computer to plot a route and then follow it with your mobile device.

Google Maps can do this, too, and you don’t even need a specific device to do it. All you have to do is search for the place you’re looking for, find it, then open Google Maps on any other device to see your search history. As long as you’re signed in with your Google ID, you’ll be able to see a running search history from all your devices.

Google Maps search box on Android phone screen

To view your history on your mobile device, make sure you’re signed in and tap the search bar. You should see your last few searches appear.

SEE ALSO: How to turn off iCloud Contact Sync in Windows

3. Share Locations

Let’s say you found an amazing coffee shop, or maybe a park that has amazingly fast free Wi-Fi, and you want to tell your friends about it. Instead of trying to find the address, you can just look up where you are in Google Maps and share the location with whomever you want.

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On your mobile device, open Google Maps and tap on the map where you want to share. Next, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to see more about the location. You should now see a Share button. Tap it and choose how you want to share the location.

Location details and share button displayed on iPhone

On the iPhone the recipient will get two links. The first will open the location in Apple Maps and the second will open it in the browser, which will open up Google Maps if it’s installed.

RELATED: How to Sync Outlook 2011 for Mac with the Mac Address Book

4. View More Around a Location

This one is an iPhone-specific tip. It’s pretty common to want to find more than one activity to do in a given area, especially if you have a long wait for dinner or plans get canceled.

With Google Maps, you can see what’s hot around you with a single tap. Search for or touch a location on the map, then touch the location menu in the bottom right of the map area.

iPhone displaying other options near a location in Google Maps

What you’ll get is location-specific information including time and temperature, as well as top restaurants, parks, entertainment, and even bakeries and ice cream. Scroll to the very bottom of the list and you’ll even get basic categories to help you narrow down your search.

5. Download Maps for Offline Access

This is one of the best features for Google Maps on mobile, as it fixes the issue of losing cell service while out and about in an unfamiliar area. While a route is cached automatically, you can cache an entire area with a few clicks. Now if you lose service you’ll have the map ready to use.

On your Android or iOS device, just zoom the map out to the area you want to save. Then in the search box type “ok maps” (without the quotes).

Offline maps saved in Google Maps on iPhone

You’ll verify the zoom and give the map a name. Once it’s saved, all you have to do is tap on the search bar and scroll down until you see your saved map. While you won’t be able to do turn-by-turn directions, since you need cell service to use GPS, you’ll be able to see the map and navigate the old-fashioned way.

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