No Need to Turn On Your Phone For Directions With This AI Feature

Google is leveraging artificial intelligence to make getting around easier.

Travel-minded consumers have long used mobile apps like Google Maps to navigate trips and excursions.

One nagging problem with mobile phone maps is that users have to unlock their phones to check their screens to make sure they’re on the right course when in their cars or bikes.

That may be a thing of the past as Google is introducing a generative AI-powered tool that allows for “glanceable directions” on mobile phone screens without unlocking the phone.

The feature, now available on iOS and Android, provides turn-by-turn directions and estimated time of arrivals that appear every time a user glances at the phone screen. Users must toggle the navigation screen to “on” when using the feature. Once they do, they’ll see a blue dot (denoting the “off” position) that turns into an arrow that points to the user’s intended direction. Once that destination is reached, the users can toggle the map feature to “off” using the Google Maps “Your Location” sheet.

To use the feature, simply turn on Google Maps on your phone, click on the “Navigation” button on the “Settings” page. Then, toggle the blue button to the right (in the “on” position) and you’re ready to go.

“With glanceable directions, you can track your journey right from your route overview or lock screen,” Google stated in a recent blog post. “You’ll see updated ETAs and where to make your next turn — information previously only visible by unlocking your phone, opening the app, and using comprehensive navigation mode. And if you decide to take another path, we’ll update your trip automatically.”

Leading to a Safer Trip

The glanceable directions feature was announced in February, 2023 with test versions rolling out last June.

The “glanceable directions” feature should lead to safer driving for motorists, who can now spend more time eyeing the road and less time unlocking their mobile phones for that trip to Pittsburgh to see the in-laws.

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