We’ve all been there before, walking circles in a giant parking lot, trying to find wherever it was that we parked the car. Previous technological solutions to this problem included strategies like “take a picture of the parking space with your smartphone camera,” but Google’s using tech to solve it in a different way. All you need to do to take advantage is update your Google Maps app to the latest version.
Google Maps now lets you save your parking location inside the app, saving you from helplessly wandering in search of your ride. Now available for both Android and iOS devices, the feature was beta-tested on Android phones over the past month before seeing formal release. Now Google Maps not only displays a position of your parking spot, and if you’re especially forgetful or inept, you can even add notes and pictures to your parking space. And if you're parked in a metered space, the update even includes an integrated timer to make sure you get to your car before your parking expires.
But this feature is a little hidden. You have to access it through the blue dot that displays your live position on Google Maps. Tap the dot, identify it as a parking location, and Google will retain it for you as a mark on the map. This is probably enough to get you back to your car, but the panel that pops up after you click your blue dot lets you add photos, notes, and timed alerts. You can, of course, send the parking location to other people via a shareable link.
If you regularly connect your iPhone to your car’s USB or Bluetooth system, the iOS version of this update will automatically save your parking location when you exit the vehicle and disconnect. This feature complements another parking-related update to Google’s mapping software, which displays difficulty ratings of how hard it will be to find parking in a given area at a given time. With these features playing off of each other, Google Maps will help you conquer the parking lot like never before.