Sat. May 18th, 2024


Key Takeaways

  • Glanceable directions in Google Maps allows you to track your journey right from your smartphone lock screen.
  • This feature decreases the amount of time you have to spend interacting with your phone to get directions, and may improve your battery life.
  • You can enable glanceable directions by opening Google Maps, tapping your profile picture, selecting “Settings,” then “Navigation Settings.” After that, turn on the “Glanceable Directions While Navigating” toggle.


Do you often find yourself unlocking your phone and then opening Google Maps to check directions? You can save yourself some trouble by using glanceable directions. But what exactly is the glanceable directions feature, and how do you enable it? Here’s everything you need to know.


What Is the Glanceable Directions Feature in Google Maps?

Glanceable directions is a new feature in Google Maps, and it’s one of the best features that has been added to the app in a very long time. Typically, if you want to track your journey in Google Maps, you have to unlock your phone, open the Google Maps app, and then check the directions.

With glanceable directions, you can track your journey right from your smartphone lock screen. This feature displays the remaining distance, upcoming turns, and estimated time of arrival (ETA).


Glanceable directions showing journey details on the lock screen.

Glanceable directions will also track your journey in the route overview window, even if you haven’t tapped the Start button. This can be helpful if you have set up a location on Google Maps but changed your initial location before beginning the navigation.

Why You Should Start Using Glanceable Directions

There’s good reason to say that glanceable directions is one of the best features to come to Google Maps in a long time.

Imagine you’re riding your bike and need to check the directions. Currently, you have to unlock your phone and then open Google Maps to check the directions. However, with glanceable directions, you can simply glance at your smartphone lock screen for the route or next turn. This feature is not only convenient, but it also improves safety, since you don’t need to fiddle with your smartphone to check where you’re going.


Additionally, it’s useful for walking directions, especially when you’re navigating to a new place and don’t want to constantly have Google Maps open on your phone like a tourist. With glanceable directions, you can simply check the direction on the lock screen and put your phone away. The ability to keep your phone locked also means there is less risk if someone snatches it from you.

On top of that, glanceable directions will even save your smartphone battery, as your screen doesn’t need to be on the whole time to check directions.

How to Enable Glanceable Directions in Google Maps

Google Maps’ glanceable directions feature is disabled by default. You’ll need to manually enable it in the app on your iPhone and Android smartphone.

This feature may not currently work on your iPhone. This is because for the feature to work on your iPhone, Google Maps needs to integrate Live Activities support. Unfortunately, Google Maps is still working on this integration, and there has been no official announcement of when it will be released.


To do so, open the Google Maps app, tap on your profile icon in the top-right corner, and select “Settings.”

Select “Navigate Settings.” On the iPhone, it’ll just be “Navigation” instead of “Navigation Settings.”

Navigation Settings option in the Google Maps settings page.

Enable the “Glanceable Directions While Navigating” toggle.

Glanceable directions while navigating toggle in Google maps.

Once you have completed these steps, you will see glanceable directions in action on your smartphone.



This was all about Google Maps’ glanceable directions feature and how you can enable it on your iPhone or Android device. Although it’s nothing particularly groundbreaking, it is a great quality of life improvement. There are other useful things you can do with Google Maps, too, like find your current GPS coordinates or check how busy a store or restaurant is.



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By John P.

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