Google Maps’ New Update Aims to Improve Your Ride-Sharing Experience

Google Maps’ latest update is out for beta testing, and it introduces a new feature for everyone’s collective convenience. Don’t want to go through the hassle of swiping through multiple ride-sharing apps, trying to narrow down the best price for your destination? Well, Maps has you covered with its new Ride Services feature, as first reported by AP!

Ride Service offers to take a look at your route information, then goes through the relevant apps on your phone (Uber being a prime and the only currently available example), offering accurate price ranges for each one depending on distance, traffic conditions, and such. While this seems enticing, the update is currently in beta and thus has some work to do before being released to the general public. Other highlights introduced include crosswalk signs and updated information about certain house addresses. Such information, however, can only be put to the test after a proper launch, as they could be country-specific, and might not apply to all users.

Google Maps has come a long way since its acquisition in 2004. A constant stream of updates has turned it from a well-meaning yet sometimes inaccurate GPS to being an indispensable tool in unfamiliar territory. Developers have invested time and care in ensuring that the app is accessible not just to a handful of first world countries, but to users across the globe (with varying degrees of success). With programs like Google Local Guides, My Maps, and Street View, people now have more than just a route calculator. They have a multifaceted app that offers 3D viewings of areas, accessibility for handicapped people, the ability to make your own maps. All of this is augmented by Google choosing not only to rely on its own developers, but active feedback from local communities as well. With rating systems, guides, and allowing edits to business and residential locations, the app simply gets more and more accurate.

In other upcoming features, Google Maps has introduced a Community Feed. Much like your typical social media wall, posts can be made by locals in a particular area that can then be viewed and liked by other people. Such features were also present in the My Business section of the app, where local businesses could keep updating their “profiles” and people could choose to follow them. This does, however, seem like Google is veering hard into well-trodden territory, and may have a mixed response upon launch. Street View is also receiving an upgrade, as people will now be able to take photos of unmapped places simply with their phones on the go! These updates, however, are not a part of 10.56.0 and have some time before being released for beta testing.

Read next: Guess what? You will now be able to view paywalled stories free of cost by Google News
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