Google used its I/O event to show updates for its various services, but Maps was suspiciously absent from the company's presentations.
However, it seems that the developers are building exciting new features for the latest Android version of Google Maps.
Observant experts at XDA Developers took a look at Google Maps' APK for Android and stumbled upon some hints about the incoming capabilities of the app. Specifically, destination shortcuts and live ETA sharing seem to be in store. An additional feature is in the works, and it is ... problematic.
Via ETA sharing, you will be able to let your friends know exactly when you are arriving. Maps will send notifications to users of your choice, informing them of your estimated ETA. Hopefully, the coders will pack traffic monitoring integration with the ETA sharing function, so you have a good excuse for being late.
Another simple — and some would even say obvious — addition to Google Maps comes in the form of destination shortcuts. It works like this: users pin a name to an address, for example "The Office." As you set up your route, you can easily search for the name. What is more, users are able to create a home screen shortcut which, when tapped, automatically opens Maps and computes a route to a particular destination.
The trickiest feature in tow appears to be Location History, which does exactly what you imagine. It registers a map of all the places you traveled to and syncs with any device that you signed your Google account on.
We will go on a limb here and say that a few demographic niches will want the feature turned off most of the time (read: teenagers and super-villains). Others might find the capability as informative and welcome. Just as a reminder, a day-by-day location map exists in the current desktop version of the app, as well.
While Google did not officially confirm any of the new additions to the app, the code does not lie. Based on the findings of XDA developers, the code is already in place, which means that we may see the new features rolling out in a few weeks.
The latest update to Google Maps happened in March, when the app received a visually engaging update in form of customized and colorful location stickers.