Google Maps is getting a new widget to convince you to stay at home
Those red lines don’t bode well for your morning commute
Google has spent the last year pretending it never gave up on Android widgets. Whether it’s fancy overhauls of the classic analog clock or all-new tools for tracking everything from restaurants in your area to the current state of your battery, it’s clear that the on-screen tools of reception are bigger than ever. Google continues its trend of highlighting great widget options for you to check out, while quietly announcing a new way to interact with Maps.
Today’s blog post isn’t the first time we’ve seen the company tease a new widget alongside older options. While many of the tools included by Google are worth checking out – especially the Keep widget, which I use every day – the local traffic widget is brand new. Unlike previous home screen shortcuts for Maps, which mainly focused on quick ways to load up your favorite locations, this one is a map, constantly updated to show local traffic conditions in your area. It even allows you to zoom in and out with the push of a button.
It’s surprising that Google has taken so long to bring live maps to the home screen – the ability to see current road conditions before setting off on the road seems obvious. Considering the size and sharpness of modern phone screens, this seems like an obvious addition to Android.
Google says it’ll be rolling out to phones in the coming weeks, so unfortunately it won’t benefit students until a new school year begins in the fall. For everyone else, though, keep an eye out for this widget picker – you never know when a server-side update might benefit you.