After four years it is time to check Google Maps again. Last years were turbulent on navigation market. Faster devices, better communications and connectivity, cloud solutions…
Google is one of the major players when services for a broad number of people comes into play. Their Google Maps (not only on phones) becomes an unofficial standard when people want to see a map, check the location, prepare a route to destination …
Let’s look at some characteristics.
+ Online maps are often updated and you don’t have to wait for new map release. Maps are available for almost all world, so users don’t have to deal with some clumsy map packages. If you want to explore a world on a map, you don’t have to look any further.
+ Excellent search engine leaves competitors far behind. Fast and with Google’s effective adjustments for concrete user really shines. You don’t have to know an address, just start typing and results are shown. After the desired result is selected, you (generally) get the address, phone, reviews, (sometimes live!) occupancy, opening hours. If you want to read a review, reviews from users and Google’s Local Guides are just one click away.
+ Street View and Satelite View are very useful features to see the real situation. It isn’t available everywhere or in full quality, but the most interesting parts are usually covered.
+ Application is available on many devices (computers, phones, tablets, car radio/Android Auto …).
+ Some places like stores, airports or hotels have indoor maps and photos.
– If you drive a camper or truck, you won’t get all the important information.
– You won’t see all the roadworks on the map. In some countries, only those reported by users are shown, but we are sure, that Google will improve this in the near future.
– Searching for POIs at the destination isn’t very convenient.
– While driving it is helpful if navigation shows two actions ahead. The latest versions use this feature more, but there is still a place for improvement.
– A user can download an area and navigation is also available there. But if you don’t have an internet connection, Google Maps isn’t very useful (you won’t get traffic information for example).
– Privacy consideration. Should I have to write something more?
– You can help Google (and other users) by reviewing the places you know well. After some time, you will be awarded. Maybe with early access to new Google products, participation in exclusive workshops, get some free place on Google Drive …
In the last two or three years, Google Maps becomes a number one navigation tool for me. It is really useful, easy to use and available on almost all devices with different operating systems. Google Maps really makes navigation experience better and easier and I can’t find a better service right now. I can highly recommend it for almost everyone who needs a navigation, information or just for looking on a map.
It is hard to understand that some car company still integrate their own audio/navigation system without a support for modern connectivity. All new systems should have Mirrorlink support or a support for Android Auto (and CarPlay).
Rating: 9/10 (check whole rating table)