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Everyone loves this new Google Maps feature, and now more people can try it

Published Jul 6th, 2021 7:31AM EDT
Google Maps Insights
Image: Google

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Google Maps is one of the must-have apps you should consider installing on your phone, regardless of the operating system. That’s especially true if you drive and travel a lot. Maps can significantly improve your commute and your holiday. It can reduce the time you spend trying to figure out where you are. And it can reduce the time you spend in traffic, offering alternate ways to get to your destination. Power users can now take advantage of another excellent feature that’s rolling out more widely, Google Maps Insights. Used correctly, the feature can help you further streamline your navigation experience.

As the name suggests, Google Maps’ Insights provides stats about your travels. The statistics can inform users about their Maps-related habits and help them make changes to their daily commutes to reduce the time stuck in traffic. Data gleaned from Insights can also offer you an ample view of your travel habits. The app will tell you exactly how much you’ve been walking, driving, or biking. It’ll also keep track of the places you’ve been to, which you might want to visit.

Google Maps
Types of travel stats shown in Google Maps Insights. Image source: Android Police

How to use Google Maps Insights

Insights is part of the Timeline feature, which is where you’ll get all the stats about your trips. Google Maps always kept a record of your activities, so the Timeline isn’t new. But the feature received a design makeover recently that includes improved Insights functionality.

You’ll see all your travel history in one place, complete with detailed statistics. Google Maps will tell you what the busiest day of the month has been, where you’ve been shopping, what attractions you’ve been visiting, and what hotels you’ve slept at.

If it all sounds too creepy, that’s because it partly is. Google Maps Insights shows the full extent of Google’s tracking powers. That’s if you want to allow Google to collect that much information about your habits. And if you want Google to retain all that data about it.

As I said before, Insights is a feature that Google Maps power users will appreciate the most. Others might not care about the additional stats. And there might be people who choose to use Google Maps without logging in or in incognito mode. This cripples the overall experience and reduces Google Maps’ powers.

Google Maps
Google Maps Insights rolling out to users in Germany. Image source: SmartDroid

The new Insights tab is rolling out to more markets, with users in the UK and Germany now seeing it on their phones. A report from SmartDroid says the Insights tab appeared in Germany, featuring the more detailed travel statistics, as seen above. It’s unclear if all users have access to the new information or if the new Insights are available only on the beta version. Either way, it seems that Google is rolling out Insights more broadly.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.