Basics of the Maps App on the Nexus 7 Tablet

You find your location, as well as the location of things near and far, on the Nexus 7 tablet by using the Maps app. Good news: You run no risk of improperly folding the Maps app. Better news: The Maps app charts the entire country, including freeways, highways, roads, streets, avenues, drives, bike paths, addresses, businesses, and points of interest.

How to use the Maps app on the Nexus 7 tablet

You start the Maps app by choosing Maps from the All Apps screen. A shortcut may also be found on the Home screen’s Favorites tray. If you’re starting the app for the first time or it has been recently updated, you can read its What’s New screen; touch the OK button to continue.

The Nexus 7 communicates with global positioning system (GPS) satellites to home in on your current location. (See the later sidebar, “Activate your locations!”) It’s shown on the map. The position is accurate to within a given range, as shown by a faint blue circle around your location on the map.

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Here are some fun things you can do when viewing the basic street map:

Zoom in: To make the map larger (to move it closer), double-tap the screen or spread your fingers on the touchscreen.
Zoom out: To make the map smaller (to see more), pinch your fingers on the touchscreen.
Pan and scroll: To see what’s to the left or right or at the top or bottom of the map, drag your finger on the touchscreen; the map scrolls in the direction you drag your finger.
Rotate: Using two fingers, rotate the map clockwise or counterclockwise. Touch the compass pointer to reorient the map with north at the top of the screen.
Perspective: Tap the Location button to find your location on the map. When your location is shown, tap that button to switch to Perspective view, where the map is shown at an angle. Touch the Location button again (though now it’s the Perspective button) to return to Flat-Map view or, if that doesn’t work, touch the compass pointer.

The closer you zoom in to the map, the more detail you see, such as street names, address block numbers, and businesses and other sites — but no tiny people.

  • The blue triangle shows in which general direction the tablet is pointing.

  • When the tablet’s direction is unavailable, you see only the blue dot as your location on the map.

  • When all you want is a virtual compass, similar to the one you lost as a kid, you can get a Compass app from the Google Play Store. Search for compass.

  • You can enter Perspective view for only your current location.

How to add layers in the Nexus 7 Maps app

You add details from the Maps app by applying layers: A layer can enhance the map’s visual appearance, provide more information, or add other fun features to the basic street map, such as the Satellite layer.

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The key to accessing layers is to touch the App icon in the upper-left corner of the screen. The sidebar displays several layers you can add, such as the Satellite layer. Another popular layer is Traffic, which lists updated travel conditions.

To remove a layer, choose it again from the Layers menu; any active layer appears highlighted on the sidebar. When a layer isn’t applied, the street view appears.

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