Google Maps Wi-Fi only, traffic delay alert rollout begins

The rollout appears staged with only some users able to access the new travel features.

Some Google Maps users are reporting the launch of new features which have made the app more current and valuable to Android smartphone owners.

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As reported by Android Police, two features, in particular, have begun appearing on some Android smartphones and tablets.

The first new feature is the option to restrict data usage to Wi-Fi networks only. If you are a user included in the update, you will see a new "Wi-Fi only" option within the Settings menu.

Once enabled, this feature prevents the app from hogging your cellular data when active -- which can be very useful if you are on a limited data plan or need to conserve your bandwidth for other tasks. However, the app may still need a small amount of data to operate properly.

As noted by the publication, this new setting replaces the older "offline areas" option.

The second feature is reportedly notifications for mass transit and transport delays. The app now sometimes shows a welcome and configuration screen for transit and disruption alerts, with a toggle to turn this option on or off. However, the feature's toggle has not worked for users yet and the screen vanishes once the app is re-launched, which suggests this option is not quite ready to go live yet -- or Google is busy ironing out a few bugs.

It does appear that the rollouts are taking place over time and there is no word on how user groups are being picked. However, if you have the latest version of the app, it is worth keeping an eye on any changes.

Last week, Google announced the launch of extended features to add missing places and edit existing business or landmark information on the Google Maps app, as well as the introduction of a new way for users to approve edits submitted by other users.

A Google spokesperson tols ZDNet:

"We're always experimenting with new features in Google Maps that can help save people time when they're on the go. Based on user feedback, we'll determine if this feature will roll out more broadly."