How to Find Your Location with the Android Tablet Maps App

By Dan Gookin

The Maps app shows your location as a compass arrow or blue dot on the screen of your Android tablet. But where is that? If you need to contact a tow truck, you can’t just say, “I’m the blue dot on the gray slab by the green thing.”

Well, you can say that, but you might get an awkward reaction on the other end of your phone.

To view your current location, tap the Location icon. If you desire more information, or you want more info about any random place, long-press the Maps screen. Up pops a card, similar to the one you see below. The card gives your approximate address.

Finding an address.

Finding an address.

Tap the card to see a screen with more details and additional information, shown on the right.

  • This trick works only when the tablet has Internet access. When Internet access isn’t available, the Maps app can’t communicate with the Google map servers.

  • The time display under the Travel icon indicates how far away the address is from your current location. You might also see the Route icon.

  • When you have way too much time on your hands, play with the Street View command. Choosing this option displays the location from a 360-degree perspective. In Street view, you can browse a locale, pan and tilt, or zoom in on details to familiarize yourself with an area, for example — whether you’re familiarizing yourself with a location or planning a burglary.