Google Maps gains commuter tab, Apple Music integration

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Google Maps Commute tab
The new Google Maps Commute tab shows the trip to and from work, combining driving and mass transit.
Graphic: Google

Google Maps just added additional tools designed to make long commutes more tolerable. These include a new tab that combines features commuters need, such as warnings that the trip will take longer than normal and integration with some popular music-streaming services.

Some of these tools are already available in rival applications, but nevertheless should be welcome to fans of Google Maps.

Google Maps Commute tab

“Google Maps now features a commute tab that provides one-tap access to live traffic and transit information tailored to your commute. We’ll tell you if your commute is going to be a normal one or if you’ll need to budget extra time due to things like an accident or heavy traffic. In the case of a delay, we’ll tell you about alternative routes to help you get to work faster,” according to an official blog post from the company.

Google also wants to simplify mixing driving and public transit. It promises “you’ll know if there’s traffic on your drive, when the next train departs, and how long it’ll take to walk from the train station to the office.” Lucky transit users in 80 regions worldwide can see exactly where their bus or train is on the map, in real time.

Rival Apple Maps and Google’s own Waze app notify you when to leave for upcoming appointments. And they offer directions that mix driving, buses, and trains.

Maybe even enjoy the commute 

Google Maps now features controls for Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music within the app itself. The company’s goal is to save the hassle of switching between apps.

These new commute features start rolling out globally on iOS and Android this week.

Google Maps is free to download and there are no in-app purchases. Just be aware, Google will use this software to closely track your movements and serve you advertisements based on places you’ve visited.