According to reports, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), which was earlier known as Google, is about to make major changes to Google Maps to make it smarter and more useful. A pre-released version of the upgrade has already been released. Alphabet Inc. is currently working to make the final release soon. Once done, it may have location sharing features, much like WhatsApp.

Google Maps has become extremely popular among smartphone users. It’s an almost indispensable navigation app now that helps people navigate in a foreign country, or find a destination in the neighborhood. Google Maps has many smart features, including turn-by-turn navigation, street side and satellite imagery, offline mapping, and even traffic updates in real time.

New Features Being Introduced In Google Maps

It may become even smarter once Alphabet upgrades it to include a hands-free driving mode, and additional shortcuts, which they are working on now according to the reports. For instance, there is going to be location sharing with a new “friends” option in the menu, which can be turned off if desired. There will also be the hands-free mode, which will work on simple voice responses. Just say Yes or No, and the app will show you a faster route. You don’t have to interact physically with the device while driving. You may verbally decline the route too.

Location sharing will come with reminders too. If you know a person’s location, just ask Google where he or she is. Or you can set a reminder on the friend reaching home.

The experts are saying that the company is also working to make the app work faster. Plus, there will be the new Local Guides feature too, where you can rate places, add tips, and upload photos to get rewards. In the upgraded app, you will even be able to place shortcuts to the Local Guides on the home screen of your phone.

Other Features Added Recently

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has added other features too in recent times, like for instance the “Nearby Traffic” widget that shows traffic conditions along the route. Busyness of the location is displayed in real time. Google has always been innovative, and have come up with products and features that has surprised and pleased users.

But there have been controversies too. Last month, Map Maker was shut down, which people used to add, edit, and remove interesting points to Maps after reports that it was used for vandalism. That functionality has now been added into the Local Guides program.