google mapsRemember what a map looks like? Remember the struggle that went into maintaining it? The trouble we took to halt at a point just to navigate the journey into the right direction. And all of the hard work going down the drain once you hit a construction or a new route? Well, all of that is in the past now, thanks to the Google Maps.
The world extensively uses the Google Maps and is pretty happy with the functioning. But do we really use it to its full potential? Well, I suppose there are few people, taking in consideration the huge amount of people who use it daily, aware of the most recent additions to the feature list of the app.

The following are 5 features in Google Maps that I reckon would surprise you:

1) Offline Route Download
You probably are still in the impression that you’ll be needing a constant internet connection to use the Google Maps. Well that’s not the case anymore. Google’s recent update allows you to download all the map data that you’ll be needing to navigate the region, beforehand. This feature includes parking spaces, petrol pumps and other points of interests (POIs).
To use it, search for the area you think you’ll be visiting. The search can be as vast as a city or as precise as an address. Open the menu at the bottom of the app and tap Download. Scale the map so that the complete region is in view and tap Download again. Name it and tap Save.

2) Traffic Patterns
Are you stuck in a traffic jam daily at the same time? Do u ever curse yourself for not starting early as you presume you would avoid it? Google has added a feature that can almost confirm your presumptions. On the desktop site you can search for the route and click the three-lined icon on the search box. Select Traffic and you’ll see a small box appear at the bottom of the screen. Change the selection from Live Traffic to Typical Traffic. Adjust the slider to the desired time to see what the traffic would generally look like at that hour.

3) Search for POIs while navigating
What do you do when you are travelling and need some assistance? Maybe you are hungry, maybe you are running out of gas. Well you could always look out of the window and search. But why do that when you have a Map?! An option that is currently available only for Android is that you can tap the search button while navigating which opens up several menus and helps you look for restaurants, petrol pumps, etc. along your route.

4) Popular Times
You would probably think I’m talking about the traffic but I’m done with that. This feature lets you know about the peak hours of your favorite restaurants and, being a foodie, this update makes me supremely happy as I hate waiting for my food to be served. The update is called Popular Times and is in the business listings section. In this, you’ll see a graph that shows when the restaurant is generally packed with people on a particular day.

5) Bathrooms
Well this one is kind of creepy and probably, the least useful when compared to the other updates. Nevertheless, we’ll talk about it. If you are in a highly popular joint of a major city, Google might just have mapped it. Look it up on Google Maps and keep zooming in. You will most likely find signs to where the bathrooms are located.
So, these were the 5 newest updates to the Google Maps that I thought were necessary for you to use the app to the fullest. Go nuts!