Google Maps has introduced a new feature that allows users to navigate through tunnels and other areas with weak satellite signals. The update includes support for "Bluetooth beacons" and has been widely rolled out on Google Maps for Android. This feature, however, is not yet available on the iOS version of the app. Bluetooth beacons are not entirely new, as Google-owned Waze has supported this technology in tunnels across major cities globally, including New York City, Chicago, Paris, and Brussels. These beacons, however, previously only functioned within the Waze app.
To activate the feature, users can find the option at the bottom of the "Driving Options" section under Settings > Navigation Settings. By default, the feature is deactivated, allowing users the flexibility to choose whether to utilize it. This enhancement addresses a common challenge faced by navigation apps in areas where GPS signals are obstructed, providing a more seamless and accurate navigation experience.
In a separate announcement, Google shared that it would be removing 17 underutilized features in Google Assistant to streamline and focus on delivering an optimal user experience. Users requesting these features may receive notifications, starting January 26, informing them that the features will no longer be available after a certain date. This move reflects Google's commitment to refining and improving its services, ensuring that users receive the most valuable and relevant features in Google Assistant.
The introduction of the tunnel navigation feature in Google Maps demonstrates a proactive approach to improving the app's functionality, especially in challenging GPS environments. As technology continues to advance, these updates aim to enhance user experiences and provide more accurate and reliable navigation services.