Incognito, voice control and more

Thanks to the artificial constellation of satellites, we can use GPS to plot our paths. Driving in a new city isn’t as difficult as it was decades ago; we can turn on navigation apps to find our way through unfamiliar territory. Although most of us use them to get from point A to point B, there are many secret GPS settings you need to know.

When it comes to navigation apps, you have two big options: Google Maps and Apple Maps. They help millions of people get to their destination, wherever they are. Tap or click here to blur your home in Google Maps and Apple Maps.

Since Google Maps and Apple Maps have been around for so long, developers have had plenty of time to come up with new features. You might have missed some of the more valuable updates, like voice control capabilities or the ability to track your parked car. Here are 10 secret GPS settings you can start using today.

Let’s start with Google Maps

We start with Google Maps because it is at the top of its game. Hosting Tribunal claims it’s the most popular browsing app in the US, with over 23 million downloads in 2020. Here are seven ways to get the most out of it.

1. A handy tip for mall shoppers

A few years ago, Google added a directory tab to its search results. Whether you use Android or iOS, you can use the Directory tab to locate stores, car rentals, parking lots and more. This applies to airports, shopping malls, transit stations, and other places with tons of traffic.

It’s great for planning. The Google Maps directory feature helps you determine where you need to park. It will tell you which entrance will take you to the store you are trying to visit.

Here’s how to use it. First, open Google Maps on your phone. Next, search for the mall or mall you want to visit. For this example, I used Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Whenever you search for a location, the map is the first thing you will see on the screen. Scroll down and you will see more information. This is where the Phone book the option is displayed.

Here is an example of what that looks like:

Tap Directory and you will find a search bar. If you have a specific store in mind, type it in and select it. Google Maps will show you the nearest parking lot to this store.

2. Use Google Maps in incognito mode

That’s right: you can browse privately. If you’re wondering why this is an option, you might not know that all of your visits are logged to your Google Account. This means people can see where you’ve been.

A researcher could see everywhere his wife went. It all came down to the Google Maps Timeline feature. Tap or click here to discover the story of a feature that tracks your every move.

Conclusion: Google knows where you are going. If you don’t want a visit to be saved to your profile, enable incognito mode. This way, Google Maps will not keep your search history or update your location history.

How to Disable Incognito Mode on an iPhone or iPad

  1. First, open Google Maps on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Then tap your profile picture in the top right corner.
  3. Finally, press Activate incognito mode.

How to Disable Incognito Mode on an Android

  1. First, open Google Maps on your Android.
  2. Next, tap your profile picture in the top right corner.
  3. Then press Activate incognito mode.

RELATED: Incognito Mode Doesn’t Do What You Might Think – Here’s the Truth

3. Order a ride from Lyft or another service

Ride-sharing services are all the rage these days. That’s why Google Maps has a built-in feature that lets you find a ride from its app. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open Google Maps.
  2. Find your destination.
  3. Faucet directions.
  4. Then scroll down until you see a section titled To drive service.

It will look like this:

Type in the transportation service box. From there you can see a list of services, times and prices.

4. Use voice commands

You want to have both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road when driving. However, it can be tricky when you have to look at your map. Here’s another one of our favorite secret GPS settings. We love it because it’s a vital feature that you can set up in a snap.

To drive safely, configure the voice commands on your smartphone. This way you can say “Ok Google, go home”. You can also say an address and tell Google to take you there.

Once you set it up, it’s quite easy and convenient. First, you’ll need to set up Google Assistant. Tap or click here to set it up on your Android, iPhone or iPad.

Then, when Google Maps is in navigation mode, tap the Assistant microphone or say “Ok Google”. Just like that, you can get step-by-step instructions without looking at your screen.

RELATED: Get the most out of Google Maps with Street View features

5. Add stops to a trip

Open Google Maps and enter your destination. Once the app knows your start and stop point, it’s time to add a stop. Press the three points in the right corner. Then press Add a stop.

It will look like this:

If you want to rearrange the stops, you can do that. Simply tap and hold a destination to move it. Faucet Ended when it’s in the right order.

(fun fact: You can add up to nine stops on Google Maps. This is a great option for busy bees who are constantly buzzing from point A to point B!)

6. Where to find your parked car

Once I lost 15 minutes looking for my vehicle on the wrong side of the parking lot. Then I started registering my parking spot on Google Maps. It’s easy to set up:

  1. Open Google Maps on your smartphone or tablet.
  2. Tap the blue icon that represents your location.
  3. Faucet Save your parking.

Until you delete it, Google Maps will save your parking spot.

7. Share maps with friends

It’s a useful tip to have in your back pocket if you’re separated from friends and family. Sharing a location or map with friends can help you find yourself. To share a location, business, address, Street View image, or route search, follow these steps.

How to Share a Map on an iPhone

  1. Open Google Maps.
  2. Find a location on the map. Then, touch and drop a pin. (You can also search for a location.)
  3. At the bottom, select the name and address of the place. Then select To share. (If you don’t see it immediately, press Continuedwho will reveal To share.)
  4. Then choose whether you want to share this map or location through your messaging app or another app on your phone.

Here’s what it might look like on your phone:

How to share a map on an Android

  1. Open Google Maps and search for a location or drop a pin.
  2. Next, select the location name and address.
  3. To select To share. (If you don’t see it, press Continued > To share.) Choose the app through which you want to send the location.

Just like that, you shared the link to your map. Want even more GPS secrets? Tap or click here to discover 10 hidden Google Maps tips and tricks.

Here are three Apple Maps tricks

Now that you know some of our favorite secret GPS settings in Google Maps, it’s time to move on to Apple Maps. Check them out.

1. Look in the streets

You’ve probably heard of Google Maps Street View. Here is the Apple version. Walk the streets and look through any place you are looking for with this feature.

Find a city in Apple Maps. Press the binoculars icon near the bottom of the map. From here, you can pan by dragging your finger left or right.

Tapping moves you forward. You can zoom in or out by pinching the screen to open or close it. You can even exit full-screen view to see another location. Just tap another spot on the map, zoom in, and you’re good to go.

2. Share your ETA while navigating

Sometimes your friend arrives before you. You want to let them know when you will arrive. Luckily, you can share your estimated time of arrival at a glance.

  1. Open Apple Maps.
  2. Find the destination.
  3. Tap Route and choose your route.
  4. Once you are in navigation mode, say “Hey Siri, share my ETA with my friend”.

Just say your friend’s name and Siri can recognize the person in your contact list. Just like that, your friend will get a notification that you are on your way.

3. Clear your location history

Like Google Maps, Apple Maps remembers your searches if you want to revisit a place you’ve searched for in the past. You may want to delete your history for privacy reasons. Just open Apple Maps and swipe up to open the Info Panel.

You will see your history under Recent. Faucet Remove to delete a specific location. To delete your entire history, tap See everything > Clear.

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About Geraldine Higgins

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