Google Maps v9.43 beta has arrived and the update should start showing up for users, and it appears to add in a few new changes while also laying the groundwork for some upcoming features in a future update. One of the bigger changes is the menu recommendations from Restaurants that users will see when searching for a place to eat within the app. While this particular feature is not available right now, some strings of code in the APK point to this feature being added later on. When it is finally added in, users can browse through lists of places to eat and then check to see what the Restaurant recommends as a popular dish or one which they think patrons might like.
Another new feature on the way for Maps will allow for your personal contacts to connect with you. The strings within the APK specifically reference "people who have your number" and further states that your number won't be visible to other users. Based on the strings of code, it seems like whenever a person who has your number tries to connect with you through Maps, Google will end up sending you a text message to verify your phone number.
As for features or changes that are available as of now with this latest version of the update, Google has now added in a shortcut for Maps that can be added to your homescreen to take you to the My Contributions screen within Maps. Anytime you add photos of a place of business or a certain location, or add a review of something you had to eat at a local restaurant, these are considered contributions and the My Contributions screen is where you'll see these all listed. Now you can simply access it quicker than before. Google Maps v9.43 Beta also now includes booking alerts where Google will send out a notification to users if a place of business has an open spot for you to reserve. Right now this is only available in San Francisco and a couple of other cities, but could be expanded out to a wider set of areas once the feature is introduced to the stable version of the application. Lastly, Google has also removed the toggle to see suggestions for adding photos to your posts. While this update should be hitting devices for people who have Google Maps Beta installed, you can also grab it from the APK below.