The new features include voice navigation support for six more Indian languages, namely, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu, real-time traffic updates and support for Plus Codes that help you find a place with no address.
New set of changes on Google Maps
To begin with, what are these plus codes?
A plus code is essentially like a street address for people or places that don't have one.
Plus codes, representing a unique geographical location, consist of a combination of area codes and local codes to give unrecognized places, an address.
These codes can be generated by anyone from within the app and then shared across platforms - social media, messages, mail etc.
How to create your own plus code?
To generate a plus code, you need to zoom in to a specific location, drop the location pin and then, simply tap the pin to see the plus code for your selected location.
Notably, one cannot manually create a plus code for the selected location, given that all codes are unique and would be generated by Google itself.
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A unique code
Plus codes will change the way you navigate
Plus codes are free and the technology they work on is open-sourced - meaning applications using location services can incorporate this feature.
Notably, plus codes don't require a network to work and this makes them more useful in countries like India where Internet services are still erratic. Hence, someone without an Internet can also create a plus code and share them via SMS/call.
How plus codes can change things for you?
Plus codes work for everyone.
An individual can use plus code to share his address with friends and family or even to avail services. Likewise, businesses like food delivery or ride-hailing services can use plus codes to serve customers better.
While, plus codes won't replace your addresses, they cater to wider use cases when an address is not on Google Maps.
Other new features for India
Google is also bringing a "Smart Address Search" feature to Google Maps in India which will simplify complex addresses.
Smart Address will use machine learning to identify your route and key points of interest and then suggest an alternative landmark-based route.
Google has introduced "Add an Address" feature that allows users to pinpoint their home or business address on Maps.
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