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A big Google Maps update is bringing two new features you’ve been waiting for

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:18PM EST
Google Maps ETA Sharing, Destination Shortcuts

While a whole bunch of Google services saw updates at Google I/O, Maps was almost entirely left out in the cold. But according to code inside the latest version of Google Maps for Android, some significant new features are on the way.

The folks at XDA Developers have dug through the latest APK for Android, and found some clues to upcoming features including two that we’ve been waiting for: live ETA sharing and destination shortcuts. There’s also a third new feature incoming, and it’s slightly creepy.

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None of these features are official yet, but clues in the code provide strong hints that they’re coming soon. ETA sharing is exactly what it sounds like on the tin: Maps will send a message to whoever you want, with your approximate ETA and a blurb about why the traffic is bad (hopefully, Google will ham it up a little to give you an excuse for being late).

Destination shortcuts are also obvious — so obvious that I’m confused why they’ve taken this long to make. You assign an address an easy name (like ‘David’s house’), and then search for that when you’re setting up your route. Even better, you can create a home screen shortcut, which when you tap it, will open Maps and auto route you to your destination.

The most dangerous feature is Location History, a map of all the places you’ve been, with any device that you’re signed into with your Google account. Probably a feature most teenagers will want to be turning off, but it is a fun way to see where you spend most of your time. (You can already see a day-by-day location map in the Maps app, mind you.)

There’s no timeline for when these updates will roll out, but if the code is already in place, it will likely be weeks and not months.

Chris Mills
Chris Mills News Editor

Chris Mills has been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, starting at Future Publishing, Gawker Media, and then BGR. He studied at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.

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