Google has till now added almost 250 new features and improvements to Maps ever since the Covid pandemic started. It has added more Covid-related features as people plan to travel for the holiday season. Now Google has announced to roll out two new features in the coming weeks.
According to Google, the updated COVID layer on Android and iOS will soon show more information, including all-time detected cases in an area, along with quick links to COVID resources from local authorities. This is especially handy if you’re heading out of town and need to get up to speed about the local guidelines, testing sites and restrictions in another city.
If you need to take transit, Google Maps can help you more easily social distance with live crowdedness information. On Android and iOS globally, you’ll start seeing how crowded your bus, train, or subway line is right now based on real-time feedback from Google Maps users around the world (wherever data is available).
To help users with meal takeout and delivery, Google is adding a feature to see the live status of takeout and delivery orders in the selected countries including the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, Brazil, and India when you book or order from Google Maps on Android and iOS. Now, you can know when to pick up your food, or when you can expect it to arrive at your doorstep. You can also see expected wait times and delivery fees, and easily reorder your favourites right from the Google Maps app. And when it’s safe to head to restaurants, you’ll soon be able to quickly see the status of your reservation in 70 countries around the world.
Google is also rolling out an early preview of the early look feature with improved user experience to Android users in English in the U.S, with more features coming soon. Use voice to send and receive calls and texts, quickly review new messages across your messaging apps in one place, and get a read-out of your texts so you don’t need to look down at your phone. Assistant will even alert you to an incoming call so you can answer or decline with voice.
You can also play media from hundreds of providers around the globe, including YouTube Music, Spotify, Google Podcasts and many more. The driving mode makes all of this possible without ever leaving the navigation screen, so you can minimize distractions on the road. To get started with driving mode, begin navigating to a destination with Google Maps and tap on the pop up to get started. Or, head to Assistant settings on your Android phone or say “Hey Google, open Assistant settings.” Then select “Getting around,” choose “Driving mode” and turn it on.
In a blog post, Google said, “Over the past 15 years, Google Maps has used technology to bring helpful information about the real world right to your fingertips. To make sure that information is as accurate and up-to-date as possible, we rely on 170 billion high-definition Street View images from 87 countries, contributions from hundreds of millions of businesses and people using Google Maps, and authoritative data from more than 10,000 local governments, transit agencies and organizations. We also invest in technical approaches that power some of our most beloved and essential features—from the 20 million places globally that now show popular times data to AR-powered Live View.”