One of the best features on an Android phone is the Google Maps & Navigation, which gives you excellent turn-by-turn navigation for free. To make it even better, you can create a shortcut to your own house, so you can immediately get directions to take you home from anywhere.
Creating these shortcuts isn’t rocket science, but this is a useful tip that we figured we’d share. If you already know how to do this, you can always share it with somebody else.
Other potential use cases: If you’re planning a trip to a city and you want to see a number of different sites, you could create a couple of shortcuts for each place you want to visit and put them in a folder—then just hit the icon for the one you want to go to next and get directions no matter where you are.
Create the “Go Home” Shortcut
Long press on an empty spot on your phone’s background, and then choose Shortcuts –> Directions & Navigation.
Next, you’ll want to put in your full address into the Destination box, and then select whether you want directions by car, public transit, bike, or walking. Give the shortcut a useful name, like “Go Home”, and then choose the icon you want—personally I chose the one with a house on it, since it seems relevant.
Now whenever you hit the shortcut, you’ll immediately be taken into the navigation system with directions to take you home.
Again, this isn’t very tough, but it’s a useful tip that a lot of people don’t know about.
Update: There’s been quite a few commenters on here, Facebook, and other places, saying that putting a shortcut to your house on your phone is dangerous in case somebody steals your phone, because then they know where you live. This is technically correct.
However, it’s also a little overly paranoid. If somebody steals your Android phone, they have access to your email (with your address in it), your contacts (with loads of addresses), your browsing history (with loads of private data), your maps/navigation history (with your address in it), and so on, and so forth… A simple shortcut is the least of your concerns.
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 08/17/10