Update: Google has officially announced the feature and clarified that Driving Mode will only suggest your home, work, and other recently searched for destinations.
An update to Google Maps for Android adds a new intelligent ‘Driving Mode’ that predicts where you’re heading in order to provide driving updates. Additionally, the update adds more prominent controls for audio feedback and granular privacy settings to the Timeline feature.
When in Driving Mode, Google Maps will use your previous web searches and location history to provide ETAs and traffic updates for your preset home, work, and recently searched for destinations in Maps and Search. Previously, users would have to enter every location they are going to in order to get such warnings.
This automated feature is much smarter and similar to Google Now cards that gives you updates and directions to the places it thinks you’ll be interested in. When the feature is fully rolled out, users will be able to enter Driving Mode by tapping on a new widget or activating it from the slideout menu.
This update also makes the controls for muting audio feedback on turn-by-turn navigation more prominent. A previous update had placed the controls in an overflow menu, but now the controls reside directly on the main screen. Users can choose to mute/unmute or just play alerts only.
Lastly, this update adds more settings to the Timeline feature that allows users to see where they were on a given day. The Timeline setting screen allows users to customize what data is collected and whether you want the app to show pictures you’ve taken from Google Photos.
Version 9.19 for Android is rolling out now via the Play Store. Driving Mode is not automatically available if you sideload the APK now. However, Android Police has instructions on how to manually activate the feature.
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