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Recently, Google bumped up the version of their Maps app to 9.39. While the update was relatively light, it did include some useful features. The older version of Maps did have a notification that warned users about potential traffic issues, the latest update makes it more convenient to know the traffic situation through the use of a shortcut.

For years now, Google Maps has been one of the go-to apps for getting to and from a certain place, especially those you are not quite familiar with. With smartphones being used more and more, Google is now able to paint a fairly accurate picture of what traffic is going to be like. Knowing what the situation is before even hitting the road allows drivers to better assess what route to take to avoid being stuck.

Google’s traffic advisory shortcut

The 1×1 shortcut can be added to the home screen. When a user taps on the icon, a screen will appear showing the traffic conditions in the surrounding area. This new update also shows traffic in all directions rather than just the one on the route a driver will take.

The change is a small one, but a very handy one at that. Time is so precious these days that being stuck in traffic is the last thing you want to be involved in. So if you’re an Android user relying on Maps for directions, be sure to check the traffic condition before heading out the door – it can save you precious amount of time and something you’ll always be grateful for.

The shortcut can be added through the widget/shortcut list.

This update is just one in a series Google has done to give Maps users an even better experience. Another recent update was making Maps more social by allowing it to sync with Google Calendar allowing the location of those events to be highlighted in Maps.