Google is always looking to improve your windshield time with Maps, and two new features announced today should help with just that: a new commute tab and music player integration.
If you spend any amount of time commuting to and from work, then you already know what a disaster it can be—your commute can go from almost pleasant to a dead stop in what seems like an instant. In fact, Google claims that a rush hour commute can be up to 60 percent longer than what you think it will be when you roll out of the parking lot. That’s a pretty dramatic difference.
The company is looking to improve commute experiences with the new Commute tab in Google Maps—a sort of one-stop shop for all your commute needs. It will provide live traffic and transit information, as well as let you know if the commute is looking pretty good or you should prepare for a long one. You’ll get live notifications about delays and whatnot on Android.
It’s not just all about drivers, though—many people use multiple forms of transportation on their commute, so this new feature will also give info about mixed commutes. If there’s traffic on your drive but the train is looking good, you’ll know. The same goes for subway notifications—real-time subway updates will be available in 80 regions worldwide. Now you’ll know that you’re going to miss your train before you actually miss it. Good times.
Finally, Maps is getting music player integration, which will let you play, pause, and skip tracks without having to leave the app. This feature will work with Spotify, Google Play Music, and even Apple Music, with Spotify even letting you quickly browse through content without having to switch to the full app interface. Neat.
Now if only I could tell Maps that I work from home, we’d all be set.