Here’s how to navigate without opening the Google Maps app

Google Maps is reportedly getting a new home screen widget that will allow Android users to navigate much faster. The update is in line with the release of new widgets for Google Phone, YouTube Music, Google Keep, Calculator and Clock with the rollout of a stable version of Android 12. The new Google Map widget would have a search function. bar, shortcuts to nearby stores and the user’s most visited locations to quickly start route navigation.

The new widget for Google Maps was first noticed by Reddit user @MishaalRahman. According to the screenshot shared by the user, it contains a search bar with four or eight navigation shortcuts to personalized locations frequently visited by a user, such as home, work, etc., as well as common searches such as gas station (gas station), restaurant, and supermarkets.

The Google Maps search widget seems to support dynamic themes on devices running Android 12 for colors. If you’re on Android 11, the app seems to use blue accent colors just like Google’s other widgets. The latest widget is reportedly rolling out with Google Maps version 11.3.0.

Google Maps’ new search widget is said to be similar to the two iOS widgets released earlier in July this year. Google Maps for iOS version 5.74 brought the widgets experience to iPhone users. The former widget makes it easier for users to check nearby restaurants or gas stations with a few taps, while the latter is designed to monitor traffic conditions and location data. It also shows store opening hours and restaurant reviews. The 1×1 widget also shows the user’s current location along with the traffic layer. iOS users can directly add widgets by tapping Editing in Today view or press the + icon in edit mode on the home screen.

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Nithya P Nair is a journalist with over five years of experience in digital journalism. She specializes in business and technology beats. A foodie at heart, Nithya loves exploring new places (read cuisines) and sneaking into Malayalam movie dialogues to spice up conversations. More

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