Google makes it easier to see and delete its records of every website you’ve visited – The Independent
Google has announced an update to Dashboard, which should make it easier for you to see everything the company knows about you.
This includes obvious things like your searches and browsing history, and other bits you might not immediately think of, like YouTube videos youâ€™ve watched and your Google Maps usage.
You can, however, view, download and even delete the data if you want.
11 useful Google Maps features you didnâ€™t know existed
Dive into your history
You can view your Google Maps History by visiting myactivity.google.com. In the search bar at the top of the page, you can filter by lots of different products, and Maps is one of them. Doing so will show you all the Maps data has on you, which you can delete.
Zoom with one finger
Phones seem to be rowing bigger by the year, and itâ€™s not always easy to use them one-handed, especially if you want to zoom in on something on your screen. On the Google Maps app, you can zoom in and out with one finger by double-tapping – but keeping your finger on the screen on the second tap – and then dragging it up and down.
You can see how places have changed over the years in Street View, by dragging Pegman (the small yellow figure) onto the map and clicking the clock icon. Itâ€™s not available for all locations though – only the places Google has pictured for older versions of Street View – and the furthest back you can go is 2008.
Itâ€™s fun though, and if you look closely, youâ€™ll see Pegman turns into Back to the Futureâ€™s Doc Brown.
Create your own map
You can create your own custom map on desktop by opening the menu and clicking Your Places, Maps and Create Map. Give your map a name and a description, and add all of your favourite places. You can also collaborate on a map with other people, ideal for when youâ€™re planning a holiday.
My Maps is also available as an app, separate to Google Maps.
Calibrate your compass
This isnâ€™t an issue thatâ€™s specific to Google Maps, but itâ€™s incredibly annoying. Every now and then you might find yourself walking in completely the wrong direction because your phoneâ€™s compass has gone wrong. Fortunately, you can calibrate it by moving your phone in a figure 8 motion a few times.
Add stops to your journey
Everyone knows Google Maps can direct you from one location to another, you can add multiple stops to your journey too.
On the app, after youâ€™ve entered your starting point and destination, hit the menu button in the top-right corner of the screen and select Add Stop. On desktop, click Add Destination and drag and drop the addresses to reorder your journey.
You can easily find great places to hang out by tapping Explore in the main menu of the Google Maps app. Each of the sections is split into specific sub-sections (such as Keep it Cheap and Quick Bites), and every place has a rating and a description.
Also, if youâ€™ve ever wondered what the orange shaded bits on Google Maps indicate, theyâ€™re â€œareas of interestâ€ Google believes to be worth exploring.
Share the places you love
If youâ€™re planning to meet friends somewhere, you can make the process much smoother by sharing the right location with them. On the app, find the location youâ€™re after, tap More Info and Share. On desktop, find the right address and click Share.
Share your location
You can track your friends or let them track you in real-time with Google Maps, so everyone knows whoâ€™s on time and whoâ€™s running late. In the app, hit the menu button and tap Location Sharing.
You can save mobile data (and money) by downloading offline maps for certain areas in advance. On the app, hit the menu button and select Offline Maps, then find the area you want and hit Download. You can also find Wi-Fi Only mode in the main menu of the app, which means you can only access your saved offline maps.
On desktop meanwhile, you can use Google Maps Lite for when youâ€™re on a slow internet connection.
Remember where you parked
The Google Maps app can save where youâ€™ve parked your car. Once youâ€™ve found a spot, all you need to do is tap your blue location dot and select Save Your Parking.
Dashboard has been redesigned to make it easier to navigate on touchscreens.Â
Itâ€™s got a much cleaner and less-cramped layout, and Google says it will look good â€œon any deviceâ€, not just the desktop.
â€œWe also worked to make it easier to see an overview of the Google products you use and your data in each of them. And we made the process for downloading data much easier,â€ the company says.
Google Dashboard is home to My Activity, which contains so much information about you that it requires its own search bar and filter options for navigation purposes.
â€œGoogle Dashboard launched in 2009 to give you a snapshot of the Google products you use, all in one place. You could review your Google activity in the last month, see how many emails, docs and photos you have, and get answers to questions about Gmail settings. Dashboard also offered quick access to select product settings and related help center articles,â€ said Google.
â€œBut as we built new tools like My Account and My Activity, it became clear that we needed to better integrate Dashboard into our other privacy controls. It should always be easy for you to make meaningful decisions about your data â€” and we decided we could do better.â€
The new version of Dashboard will roll out to users â€œin the coming daysâ€.Â
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