Google announces new Maps features for shoppers ahead of the holiday rush
Google rolled out a host of new features for Google Maps last month to help users reduce their carbon footprint. The new sustainability features aimed to help users select eco-friendly routes for their commute, get bike and scooter sharing information, and use the Lite navigation feature while riding a bike. Now, Google is rolling out another set of tools for the service to help shoppers and travelers avoid the holiday rush.
In a recent blog post, Google announced that it’s adding a new Area Busyness feature to Google Maps. The feature combines data from live busyness trends to alert users when a neighborhood or part of town is at its busiest. This will help users avoid busy parts of town when they’re in a rush. Area Busyness will start rolling out globally on Android and iOS in tile for this holiday season.
Along with the Area Busyness feature, Google is expanding the Directory tab globally on Android and iOS. The Directory tab will be available for all airports, malls, and transit stations worldwide, allowing users to quickly see what type of stores there are in a building, find airport lounges, car rentals, parking lots, and more. The Google Maps Directory tab will also provide additional information like store timings, rating, and what floor it’s on.
Google is also expanding the ‘Pickup with Google Maps’ feature to over 2,000 Kroger Family stores in 30 states across the US. For the unaware, Google first ran a pilot program for this feature in Portland, Oregon earlier this year, and it lets you track your order status, share your ETA with the store, and let the store know you’ve arrived.
Lastly, Google has also announced that Google Maps will soon start showing price ranges for restaurants across the US based on contributions from other Maps users. The service will also begin showing additional information like outdoor seating availability, delivery options, curbside pickup support, and more in the restaurant listings.
For more information about the new features, check out Google’s original blog post.