What you need to know
- Google Maps is expanding crowdedness predictions to more cities.
- Insights gives users a look into trends about the places they visit and their method of transportation.
- Restaraunt reviews are also getting more detailed options.
Parts of the world are opening up, and more people are commuting back to work. To help navigate the new work-from-anywhere lifestyle, Google Maps is introducing new features and expanding on others.
Knowing how crowded a bus or train is can help users plan their trips accordingly. In 2019, Google introduced crowdedness predictions and expanded that feature last year with live crowdedness information on the best Android phones. Google is now expanding its crowdedness predictions to more than 10,000 transit agencies in 100 cities.
Google is also testing live crowdedness information at the car level for trains in New York City and Sydney, meaning you can pre-plan which car you'll hop into if you want to avoid the crowd.
Google Maps is also giving you a deeper look at your past trips. A new Insights tab in the Timeline displays a monthly view to show how you're traveling. If you have Location History enabled, you'll have access to these trends, which show how you traveled, the kinds of places you traveled to, and highlights of these trips.
Google also highlights the Trips tab that rolled out last year, which shows off the places you visited and even includes an itinerary of the trip. Of course, if you no longer want this kind of information on Maps, there are ways to stop Google Maps from storing your location history.
Lastly, Google Maps is refining restaurant reviews since more places are opening up for dine-in. When leaving a review, users will now be able to quickly indicate whether they dined in, got takeout, or had their food delivered. You'll also be able to indicate the price range per person to give others a better idea of how much they can expect to spend.
Google says the new review options are rolling out for all restaurants in the U.S. and will come soon to more countries.
And for those of you that are still trying to figure out how to navigate the new normal, Google put together a list of ways that Maps can help you travel safely, such as easily obtainable COVID-19 information and tap-and-go payments for select transit agencies.