Sure, there’s other practical stuff Google’s widgets can do. There are Gmail and calendar widgets that can give you a glimpse of what’s in store for your workday and a Google Lens shortcut so you can quickly answer life’s burning questions, like “what kind of plant did I just buy?” There’s even a shortcut to Chrome’s cute little dino game, which I’ve very recently learned that I am terrible at.
These are all nice and useful and cute and whatever, but listen: coffee. Anyone who has
suffered through experienced business travel with me knows how important my 3PM cup of coffee is. It’s second only in importance to my 10AM coffee. Now, I can find a nearby coffee shop without completing the arduous steps of opening an app and typing “COFFEE” into a search bar. When you’re in an unfamiliar neighborhood and 3 o’clock approaches, every second is precious.
You can try it out yourself right now — just download the latest Google Maps app update, and as MacRumors kindly points out, launch the app once before you try adding the new widget. When you’ve done that, you’ll find new Google Maps widgets available in the lock screen customization view — tap the “Search” option to add it to your screen. Once it’s there, double-tap the icon (while still in customization view) to pick a shortcut: you can choose from options like gas, restaurants, parks, and electric vehicle charging. Those are all nice, but, well, you know which one I picked.