Perhaps Google knows that its users are not overfond of seeing just an arrow or a dot moving on its Maps app when in navigation mode. Which is why the Search giant keeps substituting the arrow with different items. Not too long ago, it plonked Mario on to Google Maps, marking your current location as you sped along to your destination, and now it gives you the option to choose vehicles to show where you are as you navigate your way around. No, it is not quite as spectacular as Mario, but it surely beats looking at an arrow moving on a map.
The feature at the time of writing was available on Google Maps for iOS (yes, yes, we appreciate the irony), so if you have got an updated version of the app on your iPad or iPhone, this is how you can make your navigation experience more, well, vehicular:
- Start the Google Maps app (duh) and then enter the name of the destination you want to head to in the search box on top.
- The app will show you the name of the location at the vase of the app, and give you two boxes “start” (with the time it will take) and “directions.” Do not worry about the mode of transport you choose – you can opt for walking, a car or even public transport – and the vehicle will still appear!
- That’s it – your starting point will now show a vehicle, and you can zoom in to get a closer view if needed.
- If you are not content with the vehicle, just tap on it, and you will see other alternatives appear on the lower part of the app. At the time of writing, you could choose from a red car, a green pick up truck and what seems like a yellow SUV.
- Start moving, and the vehicle will move too. Yes, that is all it takes at the moment.
As simple as that. We would have loved to have more vehicle options in the coming days, as well as more color options. And some sounds would not harm the cause either although they might be distracting. But all said and done, we love the vehicular touch that Google Maps has got. We so hope it comes to Android soon.
You can download Google Maps for iOS from the iTunes App Store. It still costs nothing.