How to master...Google Maps


8) Save maps offline

Got spotty reception at home, or travelling somewhere with unreliable or expensive data access? Download the areas you'll be traveling through in advance so that you can use them offline.

From the mobile app, just search for a city, tap the name/address at the bottom, and then tap the 'Download' button that appears. You'll be able to select how large an area you want to save offline before the download begins, and even get an estimate on storage usage.

9) Eat like the locals

When your tummy starts rumbling in an unfamiliar place, it can be tempting to head to the nearest chain restaurant – the safe bet. But if you want to sample the best local flavours, use Maps' Explore feature.

From the mobile app, hit "Explore" from the menu bar to find curated categories of eateries, like great local places for cheap drinks, vegetarian options, and on-the-go breakfast choices. These picks are chosen by power users (Local Guides), so if you're hungry, heed their advice.

10) Label everything

If you use Google Maps constantly, then you probably go to a lot of different places. And if you go to a lot of places, well, it might be tough to remember them all. That's what labels are for.

You can add a label to any location, be it business or home, so you can tag your friends, mark fantastic restaurants, and leave yourself searchable notes for next time. You'll find the "Label" listing when you click or tap any location name or address. Use it wisely and frequently.

11) One-handed zoom

Wielding Maps on your phone while out and about or doing the tourist thing? Chances are good, then, that you're one-handing the phone while carrying a drink, a bag, or something else in the other. Unfortunately, that makes zooming a tricky task. Or it would, at least, with the typical two-finger approach.

Use this shortcut instead: tap anywhere twice and keep holding down with the second tap. You can then swipe up or down to zoom in and out with a single digit.

12) Avoid costly tolls

Toll roads can save you time, but they certainly won't save you money – and all of those extra fees might not be worth it if you're not in a hurry.

Luckily, Maps knows how to keep your wallet as full as possible. When teeing up a trip for navigation on mobile, just tap the "…" and hit "Route Options" to find the ability to skip any roads with tolls, along with highways or ferries. And it's listed under "options" on web, as well.

13) View your history

If you're not tenacious about tagging everything with labels (see above), then you might forget about some of the places you've been. But Google never forgets. Never. At least it's in a good way (this time).

Maps' Timeline feature keeps track of all the places you've been, and lets you browse confirmed and unconfirmed locations from your history. View it from, or via the menu on Android. It's not currently in the iOS app.