Wherever you're headed, Google Maps can give you a snapshot of what you'll find when you get there, from real-time crowd numbers to menus, prices and contact information.
I rarely use Google Maps to get directions, but I open the app practically every day for other reasons that might not be obvious at first glance -- you can use Google Maps tricks to do far more than show you how to get from Point A to Point B.
Beneath all those color-coded traffic patterns and hi-res satellite images hides a powerful search tool that offers crowdsourced real-time data on restaurants, retail stores, professional offices, public parks and practically anywhere else you want to go.
Compared to some of Google Maps' relatively more recent updates, which include hugely improved transit navigation , language translation powered by AI , and incognito mode to prevent leaving a paper trail , turn-by-turn directions are so last decade. If you're already familiar with this app as a navigation tool, next-level powers such as these are only a tap, press or swipe away once you know the following Google Maps tricks.
To unleash the hidden power of the Google Maps app on your phone or tablet, take a look at the five ways I use Google Maps almost every day that have nothing to do with getting directions.