Google Maps to soon feature voice commands to avoid tolls, custom lists for Local Guides, and more

Google Maps multi-stop directions 2

The beta version of Google Maps, bringing it to version 9.36.0, has been updated with a few interesting and useful features, and those not signed up for the beta program can get some idea of what updates to expect with the stable version in the near future. These new features include an easier way to set up avoiding tolls, ferries, and highways on your route, nearby traffic notifications, and the ability to create custom lists if you are signed up as a Local Guide.

Before the start of every road trip, you have to manually set the options for avoid tolls, highways, or ferries, on your route, and unfortunately, there is no way to save these settings for future trips. However, with the latest update, Google has made it a touch easier to set these options.

Now, you will be able to tap on the microphone and say “avoid tolls,” and similarly for highways and ferries, to set them. Until an option to have them always saved appears, this is a nice way to make these selections faster.

Google Maps areas of interest Wi-Fi only mode

“Traffic Nearby” is a new option that has appeared under the Notifications section in the Maps Settings menu. Users will now get real-time notifications of traffic conditions in the area, and you will be informed about changing conditions with pop ups that tell you to expect delays, or when the “coast is clear.”

Local Guides is a community of users that share their discoveries and ratings on Google Maps, and allow other users to find the best spots in town, check out the best local attractions, and more. Like Yelp, this system rewards those who write more reviews, in another move to do so, those guides at level 4 or above now have the ability to create custom lists, to make it easier for other users to sort through the different places.

street-view-improved-1See also: Google Maps update improves Street View on mobile2

Current custom lists include My Favorite Places, Starred Places, and Want To Go, but local guides will be able to create others as well. If you are looking to join the Local Guides program, you can sign up for it here.

Are you looking forward to these features that will soon be coming to Google Maps? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!