The beta version of Google Maps just received an update giving us a sneak peek at what we can expect to see arrive on the stable version in the near future. These additions include a long-awaited feature that lets you choose to keep your map north-oriented as well as a passive swipe-protection capability that lets Maps interpret deliberate swipes versus accidental ones.
“Keep map north up” is the new feature available in the Navigation settings. This option is taking the place of the little-used “Tilt map” setting. Just like it says on the tin, turning this feature on will keep the north-pointing arrow on your map locked toward the top of the screen. This is a great option for people who like to maintain a better sense of which cardinal direction they’re pointing in.
Accidental swipe protection is also live in the beta, meaning Maps will no longer interpret rapid, fleeting swipes as intentional commands. You can still zoom and pan around as usual, but now you won’t have to worry about looking down at your navigation and discovering that your screen is eyeballing Egypt because your knuckle brushed it a few minutes ago.
Although this feature isn’t live on the app yet, we’re also seeing elements in the code that seem to indicate a coming feature that will let you know how difficult it is to park at your intended destination before you arrive. It appears that Maps will be attempting to get live data regarding how full a location’s parking is and relay that information to you in the form of Easy, Medium, or Hard parking statuses.
What are your thoughts regarding these new features coming down the pipe for Google Maps? Something you’ll be looking forward to, or features you’re unlikely to use on the regular? Let us know in the comments below!