Google Maps for Android has been spotted with the ability to let users add shortcuts from a selection of as many as 14 quick actions, including nearby food, malls, metro stations, and directions to home and work. The new feature is reportedly live for select users in India with Google Maps app version 9.72.2.
The latest Google Maps for Android shows a small card within the quick actions menu with three pre-selected shortcut options and an Add More button, as reported by folks at Android Police. The card also includes an Edit button on top that allows users to edit the pre-selected shortcuts by choosing any new four shortcut combinations. There are options such as Food nearby, Malls nearby, Cinemas nearby, Metro stations nearby, Bus stations nearby, Directions to home, and Directions to work. All these help to enable navigation to a nearby place with one single tap.
Notably, the availability of shortcuts isn't something very fresh on Google Maps as you could previously add a shortcut to places you visit often by holding the Google Maps icon and entering a destination and shortcut name. Having said that, Google is seemingly expanding the original feature by letting users add up to four shortcuts. Google Maps shortcuts appear to be an evolution of the quick actions feature it had introduced in India in May last year.
It is important to note here that shortcuts are not yet available for all users, even in India; we didn't find the feature on our Android devices at the time of filing this story. This means the new change appears as a server-side update. It is not yet available on Google Maps for iOS in the country.
The Google Maps team at Google has some big plans to expand its use cases in India. In a recent conversation with Gadgets 360, Suren Ruhela, Director of Google Maps Next Billion Users, revealed that there are plans to expand the real-time bus information for Maps users that was rolled out in Kolkata last year. The executive also mentioned that the company is already working very closely with the traffic police authorities in Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai to surface information about planned road closures and help the authorities understand the city traffic pattern to reduce traffic jam situations. Google Maps also lately added a smart address search for Indian users as well as localisation of plus codes and voice navigation support in six additional Indic languages, including Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam.