Every driver hates a backseat driver, but Google Maps’ latest feature may prove more useful than annoying.
The mapping app is receiving an update that will use your location history to predict your destination, plus relay up-to-the-minute traffic information.
The feature, dubbed “Driving Mode,” was first spotted by tech blog Android Police. While the update isn’t available to the public yet, Google has confirmed that Driving Mode will be made available to Android users in the coming week. It’s not yet clear when the feature will be available to iOS users.
According to Android Police, Driving Mode will use the time of day, the day of the week, the user’s current location and past search history to determine where the user might be going. For example, if you have designated home and work points in Google Maps, Driving Mode will automatically show directions to those locations based on the time of day.
Driving Mode can also predict where you want to go based on your search history.
iPhone users may also notice a similar feature since updating to iOS 9.
iOS 9 uses Apple’s controversial “Frequent Locations” feature to provide users predictive traffic feedback on where it predicts you are going. For example, when you get in the car to leave work you might notice a notification that reads, “45 minutes to Home. Traffic is unusually heavy right now.”
However, as Apple learned, Frequent Locations tracking quickly became a sore spot for privacy conscious users – prompting many, including Ontario’s privacy commissioner, to urge users to turn off the feature altogether.
You are able to turn off location tracking on your iPhone by going to the “Settings” icon and tapping “Privacy.” From there you can choose to turn off Frequent Locations. In the current version of Google Maps you are able to force the app to use your location while using the app.
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