Tech Guide

Here are five hidden Google Maps tricks you probably don't know about

Key Points
  • Use Google Maps to add a pit stop
  • How to save maps offline
  • How to create custom lists in Google Maps
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Google Maps is perfect for getting directions from point A to point B, or for finding a nearby restaurant, but it also has a bunch of interesting hidden features of which most people are unaware.

I use Google Maps every day and I didn't even know about some of these until Google pointed them out. I guess that's the very definition of hiding in plain view, right? Anyway, here are some Google Maps secrets that might help you get more out of the app, and you might not have known they were even there.

Create Custom Lists

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Did you know you can create Lists of places in Google Maps, and then save them for later or share them with friends? I didn't. Just search for a place then tap "Save" and choose to add them to your favorite spots, or create a brand new custom list. In this example, I created a list of awesome spots to see during a visit to Manhattan.

Save Maps Offline

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Ok, I admit I knew about this, but I think a lot of people still haven't discovered the feature. You can save maps offline for viewing and searching even when you don't have a wireless signal, like when you're in the subway or driving through the middle of the desert. Just tap the left menu button and select "offline areas" to begin.

Reserve with Google

Todd Haselton | CNBC

This is another one I'd never heard about. Google teamed up with a bunch of fitness providers to allow customers to schedule appointments right in Google Maps, though you need to use the web-based version. It works with Appointy, Front Desk, Full Slate, GenBook, MyTime and MINDBODY to let you find a class wherever you are in the U.S., whether you're at home or out on the road.

Share Location

This is a fairly new feature that launched only a few weeks ago, though Google has offered similar services for a while. You can share your real-time location – maybe while driving home during a snowstorm, for example – so your friends and family know you get some safe. You'll set how long the location is shared for, and who gets to view, and you can turn it off manually at any time. Just tap the menu button and then tap "Share location" to get started.

Add a quick stop for coffee

Todd Haselton | CNBC

If you're driving to work and decide you need just one more iced coffee before getting to the office, you can easily add a pit stop without messing with your original GPS route. Just tap search while driving and find a local point of interest, like a Dunkin' Donuts, and Maps will add the stop to your trip.