I hesitate to write about Google Maps as my Traveler’s App of the Week because it is SO in a class by itself. It doesn’t belong in the same category as Gas Buddy, or Allstays Camp and RV. Those are great “must-have” Apps, but Google Maps would be the App I would want if I could only have one App!
How do I use the Google Maps App on my smartphone or tablet? Let me count the ways:
- I just look at it to see where I am.
- I get a quick idea of how long it will take to get from point A to point B, whether that is driving across the country, or bicycling to the store.
- I search for a good restaurant nearby, see a menu, check the hours, read reviews.
- I view a tourist attraction and look at pictures of the location
- I ask for directions to the nearest Walmart, Post Office, Trader Joe’s, or Camping World. And, by the way, I can ask by typing my desired location into the search box, or by clicking the microphone icon and literally “asking” Google Maps to give me directions.
- I ask Google Maps to give me voice-directed, turn by turn , directions. To Navigate to the desired location.
- I save a location with a little star on Google Maps so I can get back there again sometime.
- I look at the 360 degree photographic “Street View” of a location to see if there is a good bicycle path, or to read a road sign, or see a storefront.
- I get a “second opinion” of our current route, while we’re on the road and our dashboard GPS is navigating. Google Maps is so fast, and so responsive to touch controls, that it’s a lot easier to pick up my phone and check that we are on the right route. If Google Maps says a destination is in a different location that the dashboard GPS, I trust Google Maps because I can actually zoom in and check Street View.
- Google Maps is the easiest way to find any point of interest and get information about it … link to website, phone number, Wikipedia entry, Reviews, etc.
Google Maps is the reason to have a smartphone!
- App Name: Google Maps
- Author: Google
- Price: Free
- Available for Android and iOS (not available on Windows Phone)