There are times when Google genuinely creeps me out because of how good it is at predicting what I want, and it’s about to get a hell of a lot creepier. I thought it was unsettling when Google knew what I wanted to search before I even typed it, but the company is taking things to the next level with the latest version of Google Maps for Android, because it’ll be able to predict where you want to go, and will offer directions without you having to type anything. The prediction is based on your recent location and search history, but unlike the Google Now cards that push recommendations and warnings to you as you drive, this new feature has to be turned on manually. The feature itself is known as Driving Mode, and there’s no indication of when it’ll be arriving on iOS.
The next version of Google Maps for Android will come with a new feature that will automatically figure out your destination while you drive and offer helpful information as you go. Android Police reports that the app’s latest version has a new ‘Driving Mode’ that’s useful for when you already know the way to your destination. You can activate it from within the app or a home screen shortcut, and it’ll guess where you’re going, based on your search and location history. It’ll then give you traffic updates and estimated drive time as you travel. The feature seems similar in theory to the Google Now cards that alert users about traffic ahead of their commutes, but differs in that you have to turn Driving Mode on manually and as such, the prompts aren’t based on your daily travel habits. Driving Mode is part of Google Maps version 9.19, and is still being rolled out. If you haven’t got it yet, you can try installing the APK yourself. However, it’s worth noting that you’ll need to go through a few settings to enable the feature, and Android Police has had difficulty replicating its steps to do. Hopefully, this issue will be sorted by the time the app becomes available through official channels. It’s not immediately clear when Driving Mode will arrive for iOS. We’ve contacted Google to learn more and will update this post when we hear back.
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