Google Maps gets a speedometer: Another reason to look at your phone when driving?

But also very useful with the new speed-limit feature.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Your car dash already has a speedometer, but now your smartphone is getting one too, thanks to a new feature in Google Maps. 

For some users in some countries, there is a new optional feature in Google Maps that displays a speedometer next to the recently introduced speed-limit indicator. 

As per Android Police, the speedometer feature can be enabled in Navigation Settings and appears in the bottom left corner of the screen next to the speed limit.  

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The speedometer is a handy addition to the recently introduced speed-limit indicator on the mobile screen.  

But while it's nifty that Google can display the actual speed a vehicle is traveling in relation to the legal speed limit, is it necessary or even wise to be checking your vehicle's speed on a phone display without a cradle?

Of course, drivers with an infotainment unit could use the safer option of looking at that display. However, at the moment the feature doesn't yet fully work with Android Auto, so the infotainment unit or mounted display option isn't available. 

Google appears to be on the cusp of a global rollout of the optional feature, with reports it is available for users in parts of South America, Europe, the US, Australia, India, and Taiwan. 

The navigation feature updates are rolling out alongside new emergency alerts for Google Maps and Search. The SOS updates bring a new navigation warning system to Google Maps to help users anticipate and avoid natural disasters. 

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Additional information includes detailed visualizations about hurricane, earthquakes, and floods. Google launched the SOS feature in 2017 highlighting wildfire emergencies.  

But ahead of a hurricane, users can expect to see a notification card on Google Maps if the device is near an impacted area. A 'hurricane forecast cone' will show the storm's predicted trajectory and information about when it will reach certain areas. 

For earthquakes, a crisis card will display information about its epicenter, magnitude, and color coding to show how severe the event is in surrounding areas. 

Google Maps will also show flood forecasts, where floods are likely to hit, and their expected severity.

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