I’m always surprised when people ask me if I had a hard time finding a place. Sometimes I wonder if they just ask for conversation sake or if they actually meant it. In today’s day and age, I really never have a problem finding any place at all. Even in a new city, I find it easy to get around and here’s why: My iPhone’s maps app.
I’m sure by now most of you already own a smartphone with the Maps app equipped, but this article is for people who are thinking about investing in a smartphone, or just didn’t know about the full potential of their Maps app. So I’m gonna go over what I think are 5 of the most important features:
1. Finds locations near you
When I first arrived in Calgary, I was trying to figure out where all the nearest stores were around me. Now some people might do this by searching up addresses in Google and then looking them up on a map, but that’s very tedious and time consuming. With the Maps app, I just search for the name of the place in the search field and it’ll automatically put a pin on all the possible locations for that search criteria. You’ll instantly know all the stores are in that location. How’s that for convenience?
2. It can show you traffic
Have you ever been driving down a route only to think to yourself later, “damn, I should’ve taken the other route.” Well with the Maps app, you’ll be able to avoid that problem. It shows you which routes are heavy with traffic by highlighting them in red, and the ones that are clear by highlighting them in green. As long as you remember to check before rush hour, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what route you should take and save yourself a lot of time.
3. It can show you travel times of different routes you can take by driving, bus, or by foot
Now I really like this feature because it gives me a rough estimate of how long it’s going to take me to get to a place. It’s really useful when you’re trying to figure out what time you should leave your house. It also gives you bus routes with the approximate time the bus will arrive, which will help you out a lot during your commute.
4. Drop a pin to remember where you parked
I’m a sucker for forgetting where I parked. If you ask my friends, they’ll have a number of stories of times where I lost my car. The truth is I usually never bother to make a mental note of where I parked unless I’m by myself. I always expect my friends to remember for me. Well as long as you remember to drop a pin on your parking location, you’ll be able to avoid this problem.
5. Google street view
This is one of my favourite features on the Maps app. It will actually show you what is in the surrounding area. It was especially useful for me when I first moved to Calgary and was looking for a place to stay. I was looking up the addresses of potential places to live, and some of the houses looked beat to hell on street view and already knew it was a place I didn’t want to live. I didn’t even bother to pay a visit and saved a lot of time. It also helps to confirm that a place actually exists in that area.
Well those are the main features I find the most useful in the Maps app. I hope you were able to pick up something from reading this. If there’s anything you think I missed or should have included, please let me know and I’ll try to include it in a future update.