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Google Maps Introduces New Android Widget to Show Live Traffic

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Google Maps Introduces New Android Widget to Show Live Traffic

Google Maps is releasing a new Android widget that will expand on the features that helped Waze, Google’s other driving and mapping app, make a name for itself nearly ten years ago: It will now display live traffic around you in a widget on the lock screen, rather than just in the app.

Google Maps now estimates arrival time and travel times, as well as yellow/orange/red colors to indicate when there is less or more heavy traffic on a route. Users can use the live traffic widget as an additional, user-friendly tool to get a clearer sense of how busy an area will be in case they need to modify their travel times or even routes to avoid the snarl without having to open the app.

The feature will allow users to zoom in and out to see traffic in a given place without opening the app’s larger map. Previously, users had to open the app to check the traffic situation, but now you can do so from your home screen.

The widget will be available to users in the coming weeks, so it may not appear in your widget library immediately. For it to work, users must still have Maps installed on their devices.

Speaking on the new feature, the company stated that it would help people plan their routes easily. “Whether you’re commuting or heading out to meet friends, Google Maps’ real-time traffic predictions can help you easily plan your route. And with the new nearby traffic widget, launching in the coming weeks, you’ll see this information for your current location right from your Android Home screen,” the company said.

While the widgets are undoubtedly a more handy way of viewing app activity in some situations, they also serve a secondary purpose: they encourage more people to use the app in general, mainly when it would have been too inconvenient originally.

Maps Keep Getting Better

There are now 35 Google widgets available on Android, thanks to the addition of the live traffic widget.

Remember the company recently announced an important new feature – toll pass prices when in navigation – on its blog? The feature will be available for nearly 2,000 toll roads and should be available on Android and iOS devices soon.

The toll pass feature will estimate the toll price to the destination. The company stated this would be done in collaboration with trusted information from local tolling authorities. The toll pass feature will give users specific details such as whether the road has a toll pass or not, what day of the week it is, and when the toll will be crossed.

Users will still be able to mark “Avoid tolls” in their Google Maps settings, and price changes will be offered based on their payment method.

India, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States will be the first to receive the feature, with more countries to follow soon.

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