During the company’s annual developer conference Google announced its Maps service is gaining some new features designed to represent how far Maps has grown beyond turn-by-turn navigation. In particular, Maps is not only growing in its ability to populate nearby attractions like restaurants, but also in pairing those nearby suggestions based on what it knows about the user.
While eating is not the sole purpose of these new features, it is what Google has used to highlight how the new features work and how they will impact on the end user. For example, the “explore” tab will be getting a redesign to not only better show nearby restaurants and things-to-do, but also include smarter features like recognizing the user has been to x amount of the restaurants in a given area and essentially cross them off the list by noting how many the user has been to, and the ones the user has yet to try. Taking the personal touch to the next level, Maps will also start to show a “your match” score for food and drink places through the use of machine learning coupled with the information Maps has accumulated on a user’s preferences. These two aspects in tandem will result in more personalized results, at a more localized level. Speaking of which, there will also be a new “For You” tab where the user can select specific areas of interest and “follow” those areas to keep up-to-date on all the new information about the places, and their dining spots.
The new features are not all about the individual though as Google also announced how Maps users will soon be able to long-press on a place and add that place “to a shareable shortlist” which is also accessible by friends and family. Likewise, as they will be able to do the same the idea is over time the list will grow to include all the places the ‘group’ are interested in visiting together. While all of these features have now been announced Google has not provided firm details on when users can expect to see them live in the Maps app, other than stating they will become available on Android “in the coming months.”