While it’s still no Map Maker and it’s only limited to Android, Google is starting to let users customize their maps in small ways. Yup, we’re all hobbyist cartographers now. This feature comes n the same update that added the timeline view for your entire Location History that Google so generously collects thanks to the always-on GPS in Android (you can turn off the tracking though). Timeline view is Google’s way of mocking you for not leaving the house from Monday to Thursday (or maybe that’s just for me).

If you’re not yet running version 9.12, wait for it to be rolled out around the world or grab the APK and update manually.

Custom Names Header

I live in a dry state. Soda is literally the best thing we have. Yeah, it’s sad.

Custom names for places is an upgraded version of Stars (which is still around). You can give any location on the map, a name (which, of course, is private). Even an unknown location that doesn’t have a name in Google Maps. You can then easily search for this place in the Maps app. But right now, Google Now’s Navigate to.. command doesn’t seem to be working for custom names. I think this is much better than Stars and would be really helpful for something moving to a new city or when on a vacation.

To create a custom name, all you have to do is either press and hold on the location to drop a pin or search for a place.

Custom Names how-to

Either way, you want to pop up the information card. Now, you’ll need to tap the three-dotted-menu button in the top-right and select Edit name. Type in the name and you’re done.

Searching Custom Names

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is a freelance technology writer. He's always trying out new apps, tools and services. He is platform agnostic. You'll find an iPhone 5 and a OnePlus One on him at (almost) all times.