What you need to know
- Your Android home screen is getting a new widget.
- The Google Maps nearby traffic widget helps you check gridlocks right on the home screen.
- It is an interactive widget that lets you tap to zoom in/out.
- Users can get the feature with an app update in the coming weeks.
Google Maps is getting a new widget for the Android home screen in the coming weeks, the search giant has confirmed in a blog post. Like other helpful widgets that give you glanceable views of an app’s content, Google Maps’ new widget showcases nearby traffic.
The upcoming widget is a conventional-looking square tile that displays real-time traffic at your current location. The widget allows you to track traffic at a glance instead of users opening the entire app. Google suggests it can be handy if you’re commuting to work, school, home, or anywhere else, for that matter.
Users will also be able to interact with the tile, zooming in and out thanks to the toggle in the corner. That said, while the blog post hints at a square-esque tile, it is unclear whether it is resizable like other Android widgets.
Like the full Google Maps experience, the widget predicts real-time traffic updates with the help of AI and further helps in persuading alternate routes. Google uses advanced Machine Learning techniques to anticipate real-time traffic, such as analyzing historical traffic patterns databases in conjunction with live traffic conditions.
It appears Google is keeping its promise to bring more updates to its Maps app, as announced at the I/O 2022 event. The search giant stated that it would bring fresh updates alongside the new Immersive indoor view, letting users explore a restaurant or a landmark before actually visiting. Google also recently rolled out toll price estimates, letting users anticipate costs and save money on their route.
Google’s blog post also highlights additional widgets that are already available on the best Android phones, such as the updated Gmail widget, Google Drive, and more.