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Google Updates Maps With New Features Ahead of The Holiday Season

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Google is introducing some new features to the Maps app weeks before the holiday season. Some of these updates are aimed at making gift shopping or getting groceries easier and less stressful during the holiday season. It’s worth noting that some of these features were already available in a limited capacity across the U.S.

Following a pilot program, Pickup with Google Maps is now available in more than 2,000 stores across the U.S., including Kroger, Fry’s, Ralphs, and Marianos. This allows users to track the status of their grocery orders in real-time via Maps. It can also share the users’ ETA with the store. Google claims that customers who use the Pickup with Google Maps “wait less than five minutes for their groceries.”

Google’s Area Busyness feature is also coming to Maps. This is a graph identical to the one currently available on Search, indicating the crowd status of a particular area. In addition to determining the crowd levels in a neighborhood, the feature also lets you know the crowd levels of restaurants, shops, museums, etc, within these regions. This feature will be available globally on Android and iOS devices “in time for this holiday season.”

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Maps will also bring options to filter restaurants based on price range

The Directory tab on Maps is now available for malls, transit stations, and airports worldwide. This allows users to find specific stores inside a building/mall along with information on parking lots, car rentals, airport lounges, and so on.

There will be categories to help users find relevant information such as the establishment’s user ratings, opening/closing hours, and its specific location within the building. Google said this feature would be available across Android and iOS devices.

Additionally, Maps users in the U.S. can find restaurants based on their price range. Pricing data will come “from other Google Maps users,” the company said in a blog post (via). Users can also contribute to this feature by sharing feedback on how much they spent at a particular restaurant. Information including delivery options, curbside pickup, and availability of outdoor seating options will also be included.

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Users may start noticing some of these features on Google Maps over the next few weeks. These new updates bring more control to the users, particularly for dining out or shopping during the holiday season.

Google Maps Holiday Season - Pickup
Google Maps Holiday Season - Directory
Google Maps Holiday Season - Area Busyness
Google Maps Holiday Season - Price Range
Google Maps Holiday Season - Pickup
Google Maps Holiday Season - Directory
Google Maps Holiday Season - Area Busyness
Google Maps Holiday Season - Price Range