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Google Maps v9.59 adds picture-in-picture support, Android O enhancements, driving stats

Google Maps is probably one of the most used applications on your smartphone, and Google is constantly testing new ways to make it more and more useful. In the latest beta update for Maps for Android, Google has added several new features, including a picture-in-picture window for Android O users.

Picture-in-picture is one of the more highly anticipated features in the upcoming Android O release, and ahead of its launch, Google is rolling out the functionality to some of its apps. YouTube and Duo have both supported the feature, and others like Google Play Movies and Chrome do as well. Those, of course, make sense for this feature, but Maps isn’t one that comes to mind as an obvious candidate.

Google’s implementation of the feature on Maps is pretty simple. If you have ongoing navigation and leave the app, your navigation stays on screen in a PiP window. While for safety’s sake we can only hope you’re not doing too much else with your phone while driving, this is certainly something that could come in handy when selecting music or making a call. The functionality is live in v9.59 beta, but it’s not working fully just yet. Plus, as Android Police points out, it’s UI is clearly still in early stages.

Along with PiP, Google has also added further support for Android O by giving Google Maps notification channels. Both foreground and background navigation get their own channels, giving users a bit more control over the app on Google’s latest OS.

Further, Maps v9.59 adds support for Google’s Q&A feature which is slowly rolling out, and it also adds monthly driving statistics. The feature is enabled by default and, a month after updating to this version, will provide users with stats such as average speed, time saved, time in traffic, number of trips, and total time driving.

Currently, all of this is only available in the latest beta update to Google Maps for Android, available now on Google Play.

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