Got some place to be? Google has you covered.

Google Maps is not only good for finding your way around your city or directing yourself to the seaside on a cold Sunday morning for fish and chips.

It’s actually your new best friend as we ease out of lockdown following the Coronavirus pandemic.

The first stage of restrictions being lifted means that we’re all evolving to eating our pub food in a garden. The lucky ones will be accompanied by large heaters while the rest of us make do with a blanket.

It’s not only pubs and restaurants that are making it easier for us to enjoy life again, it’s farms, zoos, garden centres, coffee shops, shopping centres and more.

You might be sat wondering what on Earth all of this has to do with Google Maps. The answer is that Google Maps have more information than just directions.

Hey Google, where’s the nearest pub?

You can use Google Maps to find nearby locations and explore the places around you – now we’re allowed out of the house.

If you’re not quite sure what it is you’re looking for, the Explore tab is there to help you. Whether you’re on your way out and need to find a petrol station, want a good restaurant recommendation or a new walking route – Google Maps is perfect.

A print screen of Google Maps in action.
Google Maps is here to help you find prime locations. 

Simply load up the app and head to the Explore tab, you’ll see a list of nearby locations and activities. A selection of options will appear at the top of this list with suggestions like restaurants, bars, coffee shops, hotels, petrol stations and more.

For something more specific, you can type what you’re looking for in the search bar or speak directly into the app using the microphone in the top right hand corner.

When something that tickles your fancy does pop up, you’ll be able to pull up all the information about the business including their ratings, their location, and their opening hours.

With this handy trick, you’ll be able to find the best hotspots to enjoy post lockdown.

Save it for later.

When you find the perfect spot for lunch, a coffee shop that sells the nicest cappuccino, a cheap place for petrol, or a pub with the best music, you’ll want to note that place down for future reference.

When you tap on the search bar, your recent searches will appear which is a great time-saver, but there’s an even faster way of keeping track of your favourite spots.

To save a specific location, tap the place on the map, expand the information by tapping on the address at the bottom, and then tap Save.

If you love a place so much that its become your absolute favourite, you can choose to save it as just that – one of your favourites.

When you select a location, a little heart will appear, similar to the favourite icon on Twitter. If you press this heart, Google Maps will automatically save this to the list of your favourites so you can easily find them again or make recommendations to your nearest and dearest.

Sharing is caring.

After months indoors and not seeing those closest to you, you’re probably going to be meeting up with friends – in groups of six of course. Every group has that one person who’s late or pretends they’ve set off when they simply haven’t.

It might become essential to share your location with said individual so they can meet you all there.

Google Maps gives you a handy way to do this, so nobody gets lost or left behind.

1) Tap on your ID picture in the top corner.

2) Select Location Sharing from the menu that appears.

3) A new menu will appear with a blue Get Started button.

4) Choose the contacts that you want to share your location with.

Similarly to location sharing on iPhone, you can choose just how long you want people to know where you are.

You’re given three options: 1 hour, until you turn it off, or the option to use the plus and minus button to personalise the sharing time.

If your friend has the Google Maps app, it will share your location directly. If they’re not as obsessed with it as you are, you can share a link via other apps such as messages or WhatsApp.

A print screen of sharing location on Google Maps.
Sharing your location is easier than ever.

You can also directly share other locations with your friends and family. Recommend your favourite spots by holding down on their location and tapping Share. A list of apps you can use will pop up and fire across your recommendation.

Thanks Google.

Google Maps is here to help you have the summer of your life – after all, you certainly deserve it.

The great news is that you can get the app on iPhone too, meaning nobody is left out of the fun.

If you’re after a brand spanking new phone to assist you on your post-lockdown trips, look no further. We’ve got deals on the best from Samsung, iPhone, Sony and more just ready and waiting for you.