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6 Google Map tricks you didn’t know you needed

Whether you’re commuting to work or driving to some exotic location across the country, chances are you’ll need to open the Google Maps app on your phone at least once. The leading navigation app has several useful features that can help avoid frustrations during your trip.

If you’ve never used Google Maps, now would be a good time to start. This can help ensure you get to your destination on time and avoid getting lost along the way. With his hidden functionsthe Google Maps app also acts as your co-pilot to get you from point A to point B with little frustration.

We’ll walk you through how to find these features, along with several other tips to help you get moving. This article is updated periodically.

Live View lets you see where you’re going without looking away from your phone

When you’ve parked your car five blocks from your destination, it can be tricky trying to follow a little blue dot to know where you’re going. With Google’s Live View toolyou can see exactly where you are going by holding your phone screen.

The feature uses your camera to scan the buildings around you and places a huge arrow on the screen to help you find the exact location where you need to be. Here’s how to use it.

1. In the Google Maps app, enter your destination and tap directions.

2. Select the While walking icon at the top of the map screen.

3. At the bottom of the screen, tap the Live View button. It is located next to the To start up button.

4. Aim your camera at buildings and signs on the street (note that you will need to allow the app to access your camera). When you start walking towards your destination, large arrows and the street name will appear on your screen to guide you.

Use Google Maps offline when your signal isn’t strong

He never fails. When you need directions the most, your phone loses signal at the most inopportune moment. Luckily, Google Maps lets you upload your route ahead of time so you never have to worry about getting lost.

1. In the Google Maps app, enter your destination.

2. At the bottom of the screen, tap the place name or address.

3. Scroll right and tap To download.

4. Faucet To download again. The map of the area you selected will now be available offline.

Google Maps GPS App

Use Google Maps offline to never be redirected when your phone loses signal.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Hide your location using Google Maps incognito mode

A feature for Android and iPhone users lets you go incognito when using Google Maps. This means you can hide your location from other Maps users, as well as the places you’ve searched for. So if you’re trying to surprise your loved one with a fancy necklace, that’s what you’ll have to do.

Open the Google Maps app, tap your profile icon in the top right corner and select Enable Private Browsing Fashion. When you’re ready to disable the setting, follow the same steps and select Disable incognito mode.

Are you planning several stops along the way? Google Maps can take time spent into account

If Google says your trip will take seven hours but will last eight, it may be because you haven’t included your multiple stops along the way. Google Maps lets you add stops to get a more accurate destination time.

1. In the Google Maps app, enter your first destination, such as a gas station or a cafe.

2. Faucet directions.

3. Tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner.

4. Faucet Add a stop. Add as many stops as you plan to take.

5. Hurry Fact when you are done adding stops. Now you will get more accurate ETA when planning trips.

Easily find a place to park instead of circling the streets

Knowing where you can and can’t park your car is essential, especially if you’re late for work or going to an unfamiliar place. Instead of driving and hoping you’ll eventually find a parking spot, use Google Maps to point you in the right direction.

1. In the Google Maps app, enter the location where you will need to park or near it.

2. Faucet directions.

3. Zoom into the location to see all P icons near your destination. Press a P (for parking).

4. Faucet Add a stop. The parking spot will be added as the first stop on your route and you can continue to your next destination.

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Check out the street view of a place you plan to visit

Pictures can be deceiving, so before booking a hotel that looks good, check Google Maps first.

1. In the Google Maps app, search for a location, such as a hotel, where you plan to stay.

2. In the lower left corner, you will notice a small box with a photo of the building. This is the street view of the area, so tap on it to see what it looks like.

3. You can zoom in and out and check the area by sliding your finger across the screen.

Want more advice? Check out these Google Maps hidden features for travelers that you may not know.