Google Maps NavigationSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

What you need to know

  • Google Maps is gaining new tools to help users avoid crowds and maximize their time with loved ones.
  • The new Area Busyness feature will help you instantly spot when a part of town is at its busiest.
  • Google is also expanding the Directory tab globally for Android and iOS users.

Google is introducing new Maps tools that it says will allow you to "keep it chill" this holiday. Along with a few new features, Google is also expanding some existing features to more locations around the world.

Google Maps' new Area Busyness tool will allow users find out when a neighborhood is near or at its busiest. Not only will the new feature help people who hate crowds see places to avoid, but also allow travelers to find out which parts of town are lively.

Google Maps Area BusynessSource: Google

You can also view more information such as how busy an area is at different times of day, along with all the major attractions within it. Google says the new Area Busyness feature will roll out to Maps on both Android and iOS "in time for this holiday season."

Google is also expanding the Maps' Directory tab globally for all major airports, malls, and transit stations. Once the feature becomes available, you'll be able to find your way around large buildings more easily, and also see what stores are in a building, airport lounges, car rentals, parking lots, and other helpful information. In addition to the best Android phones, the Directory tab will be available on iOS too.

Google Maps Directory TabSource: Google

To help users save time on grocery shopping, Google is expanding pickup with Google Maps to over 2,000 store locations in more than 30 states across the U.S. Pickup with Google Maps now includes more Kroger Family stores like Kroger's, Fry's, Ralphs, and Marianos.

Pickup With Google MapsSource: Google

The feature was first launched in Portland, Oregon in March this year. Once you place your order from a retailer, pickup with Google Maps will let you track your order status and also share your ETA with the store.