New 'driving' home screen shortcut gives Google Maps a jump-start

A new update to Google Maps is aimed squarely at making getting driving directions less of a hassle thanks to a new "Driving" shortcut that can be added to your home screen. Aside from providing quick access to navigation mode, Google says that using the shortcut will automatically serve up ETAs on frequent destinations like home and work, along with suggested destinations based on your recent search history. From Google:

If you've preset home and work in Google Maps, you'll see ETAs at times when you're likely to be heading to these destinations. If you have location history enabled, we base these suggestions on location data, time of day and day of week. And if you're logged in, we'll suggest destinations based on recent Google Maps and Google searches when you open driving mode.

Google is hoping that this one-tap access will make it easier for users to gauge whether they should go ahead and hit the road home, or maybe take a detour to a spot they've shown interest in checking out. We haven't yet received the update on our devices, but it should be rolling out over the coming weeks or days. When it does arrive, you'll be able to add the Driving shortcut to your home screen through the widgets menu.

Source: Google

Dan Thorp-Lancaster